Game 3 Recap: Bal scores OT winner as Bellies take 2-1 series lead

by Gary Ahuja

Dane Dobbie celebrates a goal during Game 3 of the Western Lacrosse Association Finals on Sunday (August 20) night at Queen's Park Arena. The Thunder lost 11-10 in double overtime and trail the best-of-seven series 2-1. Ryan Molag LEC photo

It was a tale of two games and when the final buzzer had sounded, it was the New Westminster Salmonbellies scoring an 11-10 double-overtime victory over the Langley Thunder.

The Thunder scored eight times in the first 36:50 in building an 8-4 lead. But Langley managed just two goals over the remaining 35:07 while New Westminster scored seven times in that span to rally for the overtime win.

The Salmonbellies now lead the Western Lacrosse Association Finals best-of-seven series two games to one following their home floor victory at Queen’s Park Arena on Sunday night.

Langley led 5-3 after a period and 8-6 through 40 minutes, but New Westminster would take a 9-8 lead into the dying seconds of the game before Dane Dobbie forced overtime with less than two seconds to play.

Connor Robinson’s power-play goal put the Thunder in front early in the 10-minute overtime period before Kevin Crowley responded for the home team at the 6:13 mark. And after neither team could score again the rest of the period, that set the stage for sudden-death overtime with Keegan Bal striking for the winner at the 1:57 mark and a 2-1 series lead.

Curtis Dickson earned the game’s second star following a one-goal, six-assist effort and his seven points were matched by Dobbie (4-3). Robinson also had a big game with a goal and five points, while Chase Scanlan had a goal and three helpers. Clay Scanlan, Robert Church and Dylan Kinnear had the other Langley goals. Frank Scigliano made 49 saves as the Thunder were outshot 60-52.

New Westminster goaltender Zach Higgins was the third star following his 42-save performance while teammate Haiden Dickson was the first star with four goals. Bal (4-2) also had a four-goal game with Kevin Crowley (1-3), Will Malcom (1-2) and Noah Armitage (1-2) also finding the back of the net. Mitch Jones had a five-assist effort.

The teams now get set for Game 4 on Tuesday (August 22) at Langley Events Centre with Game 5 set for Queen’s Park Arena on Thursday (August 24). Both begin at 7:30pm. The Thunder need a victory in one of the two games to force a Game 6, which would be at LEC on Saturday (August 26).