Lakers spoil Thunder home opener

by Gary Ahuja

 A five-goal Burnaby Lakers in the first run was too much for the Langley Thunder to overcome as they dropped their Western Lacrosse Association home opener on Wednesday night.

Playing for the first time this season at Langley Events Centre, the Thunder fell 12-7 to the visiting Burnaby Lakers. Burnaby improved to 2-0 on the season while Langley sits at 1-2.

Langley’s Connor Robinson opened the scoring 73 seconds into the game on a two-man advantage, but the Lakers rattled off the next five goals – twice short-handed and another two on the power play – and never looked back.

“In this league, with the new 30 second rule, we cannot get beat shorthanded,” said Langley coach Rod Jensen. “We have to get back, get off the floor and get the ball back. That really hurt us tonight.”

“I thought we battled hard but our execution was off.”

The Thunder would pull within three goals at one point in the second period but could not string together any sustained offensive runs, only twice stringing together consecutive goals, but only scoring twice each time.

The other major difference was that Burnaby was able to get to more loose balls than the Thunder.

“We need to possess the ball more. They were getting to more loose balls on offence and more possessions,” Jensen said. “And just by the fact they had more possessions, they had more shots on net and prevented us from getting opportunities.”

The Lakers were also more efficient with their shots, scoring a dozen times on 54 shots compared to Langley’s seven on 52 shots on goal.

Garrett Billings led Langley with four assists while rookie Brad McCulley had two goals and an assist and Connor Robinson finished with one goal and two helpers. Dylan Kinnear (one goal, one assist), Andrew Garant (one goal, one assist) and Aidan Milburn (one goal) rounded out the scoring for the home side.

Robert Church led the Lakers with two goals and five points, while Graydon Bradley had three goals and Scott Jones and Laszio Henning had a pair of goals apiece.

Eric Penney made 45 saves in goal for Burnaby while Steve Fryer surrendered seven goals on 20 shots and Dan Lewis allowed four goals on 33 shots.

Langley is next in action on Wednesday, June 5 as they welcome the New Westminster Salmonbellies to Langley Events Centre. Game time is 7:30 p.m. For tickets, click here.


For more information:

Gary Ahuja, Langley Events Centre, 604.613.5242 (cell), 604.455.8830 (office) or email.