Second period woes continue for Thunder
There is something about the second period.
Tied at three following 20 minutes on Wednesday night, the Langley Thunder were out-scored 8-2 over the middle stanza, and that proved to be too much to overcome for the senior A lacrosse team as they were handed a third consecutive defeat, 14-7 to the visiting Victoria Shamrocks in Western Lacrosse Association action at Langley Events Centre.
Victoria improved to 2-2 while the Thunder fell to 1-3.
It continued a troubling trend as Langley has been out-scored 24-9 in second periods of the team’s three defeats. If you include their season-opening victory, the score in the middle stanza is 26 for the opposition and 13 for the Thunder. By comparison, over the remaining 40 minutes, the Thunder are ahead by a collective score of 23-21.
“We have had trouble in the second period of all three losses. We have been cooked in the second period,” said Thunder head coach.
The simple explanation might be that the Thunder are struggling with the long line change in transition during those 20 minutes, but Jensen doesn’t feel that is the issue.
“We just seem to take the foot off the gas pedal there,” he explained.
The other factor is his young team sitting back way too much and letting the opposition’s offensive weapons pick them apart. Last week it was Curtis Dickson putting up a 10-spot on the Thunder and this time it was Casey Jackson leading the way with four goals and eight points for Victoria. And he had plenty of help as well, with Chris Wardle (three goals, two assists), Jesse King (one goal, four assists) and Alec Molander (one goal, four assists) each with five-point games.
The team is consistently getting beat by the same play and players over and over again and not making the necessary in-game adjustments.
“We just seem to give them way too much time to look around the floor and basically pick us apart,” he said. “We need to gamble, send someone over, take some chances. If we get beat, fair enough, but don’t keep getting beat the same way.”
Another area for the team to improve is the amount of trips to the penalty box.
The Thunder were whistled for 10 infractions – compared to just one Victoria minor penalty – in Wednesday’s defeat. And while Langley added a league-leading sixth short-handed goal, they allowed three power-play goals and spent a total of 17:12 in the penalty box, nearly a full period.
Six of those penalties were in the decisive second period when Victoria took control and Jensen said the Shamrocks thrive on playing with the lead, and by spending so much time exerting energy killing off penalties, the Thunder fed into what the ‘Rocks wanted to do.
Langley was led by the quartet of Connor Robinson, Aidan Milburn, Tyler Pace and Andrew Garant, who each had three points. Robinson has two goals, while Milburn, Reece Callies, Dylan Riley and JP Kealey scored once apiece. And Kealey had an off-shooting night, finishing with just one goal despite a team-high dozen shots. He entered the game with seven goals on 25 shots, a shooting percentage of .280.
The team is back in action on June 7 as they visit Queens Park Arena for a showdown for the WLA’s lone unbeaten team, the 3-0 Salmonbellies.
For more information:
Gary Ahuja, Langley Events Centre, 604.613.5242 (cell), 604.455.8830 (office) or email.