Game Preview: Thunder vs. Burrards

by Gary Ahuja

For the first time this season, the Langley Thunder square off against the Maple Ridge Burrards.

The Thunder host the Burrards at Langley Events Centre tonight (Wednesday, June 21) with a 7:30pm start time as Langley plays on consecutive nights for the first time this Western Lacrosse Association season.



Langley is coming off a 10-9 road game the night before in Coquitlam against the Adanacs, the Thunder’s fifth straight win as they improved to 6-1. Connor Robinson, Robert Church and Nathaniel Kozevnikov each scored twice and finished with five points apiece in the victory, with Frank Scigliano shutting the door in the third period as he stopped 16 of 17 shots in the final 20 minutes. He finished with 38 saves and leads the WLA in goals against average (7.11), save percentage (.846) and wins (six) while sitting second with 220 total saves.

Dobbie leads the team in scoring with 23 goals and 37 points while Church is second in goals (14) and third in points (32). Each player is averaging 5.3 points per game.

And while the Thunder play their second game in as many days, the Burrards have been off since Sunday, when they lost 11-8 at home to the Nanaimo Timbermen. The loss stretched Maple Ridge’s winless streak to five games (0-4-1) following a 2-0 start to the season.

The game was tied at six late in the second period but Nanaimo potted the go-ahead goal just before intermission and then outscored the Burrards 4-2 over the final 20 minutes. Ryan Jones (2+2), Garret Winter (2+1) and Dylan McIntosh (2+0) each scored twice in the defeat.

McIntosh leads Maple Ridge with 15 goals on the season while Jones (11+13) is first in points with 24.

In goal, Brandon Humphrey is fourth in the WLA in goals against (8.77), save percentage (.821), and total saves (183).

In terms of special teams, the Thunder power play is heating up as of late as they have gone 8-for-11 over the past two games to climb to fourth in the league (13-for-34, 0.382). Maple Ridge finds themselves sixth in power-play percentage (9-for-34, .265). The two teams’ penalty kills are both operating in the top half of the league with Langley at .667 while the Burrards are at .634. Maple Ridge has, however, been shorthanded 41 times in seven games compared to Langley, which has been a man down 24 teams in the same number of games. The Thunder have allowed eight power-play goals, but they have also scored six times while short-handed and are at +7 when factoring in all special team goals. The Burrards are at -6.