Game Preview: Thunder vs. Burrards

by Gary Ahuja

The Langley Thunder continue their pursuit of first place in the Western Lacrosse Association standings as they get set to host the Maple Ridge Burrards.

The game goes tonight (Wednesday, July 19) with a 7:30pm start time at Langley Events Centre.


At 12-3 and with three games remaining, the Thunder sit atop the WLA standings with 24 points. But the New Westminster Salmonbellies (11-3) and Nanaimo Timbermen (10-4) are hot on the Thunder's heels for first place. The Burrards (3-10-1) have struggled since beginning the season 2-0 with just one victory in their last 12 games.

It is the third and final meeting between the Thunder and Burrards with the most recent contest requiring overtime as Chase Scanlan scored during their sudden-death 3-on-3 overtime format for a 7-6 victory on July 9 in Maple Ridge. While Scanlan scored the winner, goaltender Aden Walsh was the first star following a 60-save performance in the Langley net as the Thunder were outshot 66-53.

Curtis Dickson led the offence with two goals and five points in the victory. Dennon Armstrong led the Burrards with a goal and four points while Joel Watson made 46 saves.

The Thunder also won 11-7 back on June 21 at Langley Events Centre behind a four-goal performance from captain Connor Robinson and Robert Church’s four assists. Frank Scigliano made 34 saves on 40 shots. Garrett Winter’s hat trick and four points led Maple Ridge with Brandon Humphrey stopping 36 of 46 shots.

Both teams are playing on consecutive days with Langley defeating the host Coquitlam Adanacs 11-8 while the Burrards were at home, losing by that same score to the visiting Burnaby Lakers.

In the Thunder victory, Langley was down by a goal entering the third period but struck five times for the come-from-behind win. Scanlan scored three of his four goals in the final frame while Dickson had a pair of goals and five points. Walsh got the nod in net and made 42 saves on 50 shots.

The Burrards fell behind 4-0 in their game and despite getting to within a goal, could get no closer. Drew Andre led the offence with a hat trick and four points while Isaac Ngyou popped in a pair of goals. Brandon Humphrey finished with 33 saves in the Maple Ridge net.

Scigliano and Humphrey both find themselves in the top five in goals against average and save percentage with Scigliano leading both categories (6.60, .860) while Humphrey sits fifth (9.00, .807) among goalies who have played at least 30 per cent of their team’s minutes.

Walsh boasts a 9.22 GAA and .836 save percentage (which would place him fourth if eligible) while Watson’s numbers are 11.81 and .774.

The duo of Scigliano and Walsh have combined to give Langley the lowest goals against in the WLA as they are allowing 7.60 goals per game.

The Thunder offence is ranked second with 11.13 goals per game.

Among points leaders, Dickson and Church sit tied for third with 61 points apiece. Dane Dobbie (27 goals) and Church (24) are fourth and fifth, respectively, in goals, while Dickson (40) and Church (37) are first and second in assists.

Ryan Jones leads Maple Ridge in both goals (18) and points (45) for a Burrards squad averaging 7.93 goals per game.

In the special teams’ battle, Langley sits second on the penalty kill (.667) and third on the power play (.383) while the Burrards are last in both categories: .312 on the power play and .506 on the penalty kill. The Thunder do have a league-leading 11 short-handed goals on the season.