Six-point night from Dobbie leads Thunder to victory

by Gary Ahuja

Holden Garlent (#27) and the Langley Thunder defeated the visiting Maple Ridge Burrards 9-7 in Western Lacrosse Association action on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre. Ryan Molag LEC photo

A five-goal run broke open a tight game as the Langley Thunder improved to 13-3 on the season with a 9-7 victory over the Maple Ridge Burrards.

Playing on consecutive nights – they won 11-8 in Coquitlam the night before – head coach Curt Malawsky said he wanted his team to start on time in Wednesday’s game at Langley Events Centre.

And they did, delivering a goal just 22 seconds into Wednesday’s Western Lacrosse Association game at Langley Events Centre. From there, the teams battled to a 3-3 score after a period and Maple Ridge led 5-4 at the midway point of the contest before the Thunder closed with three straight to close the middle frame and then tacked on two more to open the third, before the Burrards broke a 23:03 scoreless drought. Their final goal came with less than four seconds to play.

“There are no bad teams in the Western Lacrosse Association. Everyone has got talent; everyone works hard, and everyone has good coaching. It is never an easy night in this league,” Malawsky said.

“They (Maple Ridge) are a hungry, young team with something to prove. Throughout the league this year, teams are going after us, which is good, it gets us battle tested.”

“I thought we played pretty physical. We made a couple of mistakes on vacates and sat in the hole a little bit and they gap-shot at us, but a lot of that was Frank making big saves,” Malawsky said.

“In the third period, we got a little bit more physical and upped the ball pressure, and that made a difference.”

“We came in with a game plan and executed like we were supposed to and came out with the win,” said Thunder defender Bobby Kidd III. “It comes down to coaching first. We get told what our assignments (and our job) is to execute.”

Dane Dobbie (3+3) and Curtis Dickson (2+3) led the Thunder and were the game’s first two stars while Nathaniel Kozevnikov and Robert Church each scored twice and set up a goal apiece to round out the scoring.

Frank Scigliano made 34 saves in the Thunder goal.

“We just got into a bit of a groove; moving the ball a bit better in the second and the ball swung a bit more and we had a lot more open looks. I thought (Maple Ridge’s) defence and goalie played well … I thought we should have had a couple more,” Dobbie said.

“He is so, so intelligent. His lacrosse IQ is off the charts; it is like having another coach out there. He makes great decisions with the ball, he is a great leader, he can score; he has got lots of gas in the tank … he just exudes that confidence which just brings everyone up,” Malawsky said of Dobbie.

“We have a lot of leaders on this team, but (Dane) is one of the big ones.”

For Maple Ridge – which fell to 3-11-1 with the loss – Joel Watson made 48 saves (.842 save percentage) as his team was outshot 57-41.

Offensively, Brett Kujala led the Burrards with a goal and four points while Ryan Jones and Gabe Procyk each had a goal and two assists.

Langley now prepares for its final road game of the regular season, a visit to Nanaimo to face the Timbermen on Sunday, July 23 at 7:00pm. The last Thunder home game is set for Wednesday, July 26 with a visit from the Burnaby Lakers to Langley Events Centre. Game time is 7:30pm.