Game Preview: Thunder vs. Lakers

by Gary Ahuja

The Langley Thunder hit the road tonight in Burnaby in search of their second victory in the past three days.

Langley is coming off a 9-4 home win on June 14 against the Adanacs, the Thunder’s third straight win which improved their record to 4-1 in the Western Lacrosse Association standings. The Lakers are also coming off a victory – their first of the season – following their 14-8 win on June 11 in Maple Ridge. Burnaby sits at 1-4.

The game will be played at Burnaby's Bill Copeland Arena with a 7:30pm start.


Connor Watson led Burnaby with three goals and five points as the 14 goals scored marked a season-high for a Lakers squad which is averaging just nine goals per game. The Thunder victory saw goaltender Frank Scigliano continue his stellar start to the season as he made 39 saves on 43 shots, lowering his goals against average to 4.94 and his save percentage to .895. Both stats lead all WLA goaltenders.

The Thunder enter tonight’s game with the second-ranked offence (11.8 goals per game) and a stingy defence which has allowed a league-low 6.6 goals per game. Langley leads the league in goal differential at +26.

Up front, the trio of Curtis Dickson (8 goals, 20 assists), Robert Church (12 goals, 15 assists) and Dane Dobbie (14 goals, 10 assists) sit third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in league scoring. The Thunder did also get Connor Robinson back in the line-up on Wednesday with the captain scoring once and finishing with three points.

Leading the Lakers offence so far this season has been Jacob Dunbar, the first pick in the 2023 WLA Junior Graduating Player Draft. Dunbar sits second in the league with 16 goals while leading Burnaby with 20 points through five games. He is the lone Laker with more than three goals on the season.

Keegan Melenychuk (13.10 GAA, .762 save percentage) and Brody Harris (13.97 GAA, .752 save percentage) have split the goaltending duties for Burnaby through the first three weeks of the season. The Lakers goal differential sits at -22.

For special teams, Langley is at +1 when factoring in short-handed goals scored and allowed). The Thunder are tied for sixth on the power play with six goals on 23 chances, a .261 success rate. They have also allowed two short-handed goals. On the other side of the equation, Langley’s penalty kill ranks third, allowing six goals on 18 opportunities, a .667 success rate. They have also scored four short-handed goals, tied for the league lead.

The Lakers are at -4 in special team goals, having scored seven power-play goals (.368) and allowing four short-handed goals. The penalty kill has allowed eight goals on 20 chances (.600) and managed one short-handed goal.

The game is also a rematch of the WLA season opener for both clubs, one which saw Langley post a dominating 20-5 home win back on May 24 with Dobbie recording a sock trick and eight points and Church adding four goals and nine points. Wakeriat Bowhunter led the Lakers with a pair of goals in the loss.