Thunder offence silenced

by Gary Ahuja

Langley Thunder's Trent Kellner is pressured as he transitions the ball up the floor during Western Lacrosse Association action against the Nanaimo Timbermen on June 26 at Langley Events Centre. Ryan Molag photo

It wasn’t a lack of opportunity, but more a lack of finish.

Despite firing 52 shots on goal – with countless others which missed the mark or were impeded on their way to the net – the Langley Thunder fell 8-6 to the visiting Nanaimo Timbermen on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre in Western Lacrosse Association Senior A action.

The defeat snapped Langley’s two-game win streak and saw their record slip to 3-6 while Nanaimo has now won back-to-back games and improved to 3-5.

“It wasn’t due to lack of chances, we had enough chances: 52 shots (but) today just wasn’t our day,” said Langley coach Ian Poole. “And you have to give credit to their goalie, he made some good saves.”

Poole was referencing Nanaimo goaltender Colby Bowman, the game’s second star following his 46-save performance as his team was outshot 52-47 on the night. Half of those saves come in the middle period as the Thunder fired 23 shots on target over those 20 minutes but came up empty each time.

And while Langley was held goalless, the Timbermen scored three times, erasing a 4-2 deficit for the 5-4 lead after 40 minutes. Nanaimo added two more in the third to go ahead 7-4 before the Thunder finally broke through with goals 26 seconds apart to make it a one-goal game with just under five minutes remaining. However, Langley was held at bay the rest of the way with the Timbermen sealing the victory with an empty netter with 13 seconds to play.

Aside from the result, Poole was generally happy with his squad’s overall game.

“Our goal is to keep teams around eight goals and if you can keep teams around eight, you should be in every game,” he said.

Offensively, Chase Scanlan led Langley with a hat trick and five points – and was the third star -- while Robert Church scored twice and set up two others. Kyle Playsted had the other Thunder marker with captain Connor Robinson making his season debut and finishing with a pair of helpers. Aden Walsh had 39 saves on 46 shots for an .848 save percentage.

The Timbermen’s Jason Knox was the game’s first star after finishing with assists on six of his team’s goals. Jon Phillips (2-2) and Zach Manns (2-1) each scored twice.

Langley is right back in action on Friday (June 28) with a visit to Burnaby’s Bill Copeland Arena for their second meeting of the season with the Lakers. Game time is 7:00pm. The next Thunder home game at Langley Events Centre is set for July 3 at 7:30pm against the Coquitlam Adanacs.