Game Preview: Thunder vs. Shamrocks
The Langley Thunder look to avenge their lone loss of the season as they welcome the Victoria Shamrocks to Langley Events Centre.
The two teams meet tonight (Wednesday, June 28) at 7:00pm at Langley Events Centre with the Thunder (7-1) riding a six-game win streak while the Shamrocks (4-3-1) are on a two-game losing streak.
Langley enters the week tied for first place in the Western Lacrosse Association while the Shamrocks hold down fourth place.
The teams met back in the first week of the season in Victoria on May 26 at the Q Centre with Cole Pickup scoring the winning goal with 69 seconds to play in a 12-11 victory.
Former Thunder player Tom Vaesen and Jacob Ruest each scored twice and finished with four points apiece while Patrick Dodds had a goal and five points for Victoria. Goaltender Pete Dubenski was the game’s first star with 38 saves in the Victoria goal.
Langley lost despite big games from Curtis Dickson (2+6), Dane Dobbie (4+3) and Robert Church (3+3). Dickson remains away from the Thunder this week as he represents Canada at the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego.
The team has gone 2-0 in his absence, posting a 10-9 win on June 20 in Coquitlam and then 11-7 over the Maple Ridge Burrards the following night.
Captain Connor Robinson has led the offence those two games with two goals and five points in the first game and then a four-goal performance the next while Church had a combined two goals and seven assists last week. Last week also marked the Thunder debut of Nathaniel Kozevnikov, who had two goals and five points versus Coquitlam and then potted another two goals against Maple Ridge.
Frank Scigliano was in goal for both games, improving to 7-0 on the season with a WLA-best 6.49 goals against average and an .859 save percentage. He is also third in the league with 249 total saves.
On the season, Dobbie sits second in league scoring with 40 points and third in goals with 23 while Dickson and Church each have 36 points. Robinson has only played four games but has 16 points over that time, giving Langley four players averaging four or more points per game.
The Shamrocks are coming off a pair of back-to-back one-goal losses, 8-7 to New Westminster on June 23 and 10-9 the following night to the Burnaby Lakers. Both games were in Victoria.
Marshal King is leading Victoria in scoring with 32 points while Tom Vaesen and Cole Pickup are tied for the team lead in goals with 16. Vaesen is also second in points with 31. In goal, the Shamrocks have the tandem of Cam Dunkerley (7.31 GAA and .836 save percentage) and Pete Dubenski (10.37 GAA and .783 save percentage).
For goal differential, the Thunder lead the WLA at +34 with a league-best 12 goals per game and surrendering 7.75 (second). Victoria is third in both goals for (10.25) and goals against (8.63).
In terms of special teams, Langley is third with the man advantage at .410, scoring 16 goals on 39 chances, with Dobbie scoring a league-leading eight of those goals. The Thunder penalty kill is also third at .667, allowing 11 goals on 33 chances. The Shamrocks are fourth on the power play (15-for-44, .341) while boasting the top penalty kill unit at .735, allowing just nine goals on 34 chances.