Thunder start season on winning note

by Gary Ahuja


May 23, 2018

One game does not make a season, but it was a promising start for the Langley Thunder.

The senior A lacrosse team surrendered the game’s first goal but rattled off the next seven and never looked back, dropping the Burnaby Lakers 12-7 in the Western Lacrosse Association opener for both clubs on Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre.

And it was the team’s young guns leading the way.

Connor Robinson, the first overall pick in the 2018 WLA draft, had two a spectacular debut with two goals and three assists and was named the game’s first star.

J.P. Kealey (three goals) was the second star and Tyler Pace (two goals and two assists) rounded out a Langley sweep of the three-star selections.

Pace was the first overall pick in the 2017 WLA draft but he played just game for the Thunder in 2017 while Kealey is in his sophomore season.

Despite the youth and inexperience at the senior level, Thunder head coach Rod Jensen said age will not be an excuse.

“They are talented guys, they have all played on winning teams,” the coach said. “They have had great junior careers and I anticipate they are going to carry that forward.

“They are smart players and competitors too and we saw a little bit of their magic tonight.”

In addition, the offensive contributions of the three stars, Johnny Pearson (two goals, one assist), Cole Shafer (four assists) and Austin Rockwell (one goal, one assist) also had multi-point games.

Preston Lupul and Andrew Garant rounded out the scoring with one goal apiece.

The Thunder scored four times with the man advantage and added another short-handed.

And Langley actually led 12-4 into the latter stages of the game but allowed a pair of power-play goals -- playing down two men in both instances -- to allow the Lakers to make the score more respectable.

In goal, Brodie MacDonald – the lone Thunder player who was with the team during Jensen’s first stint behind the bench from 2011 to 2015 – finished with 32saves.

He was especially good early on.

“That is the Brodie I know. I believe in him,” Jensen said. “I know he has struggled a bit in the NLL and in previous years, but I trust him, he is my go-to-guy.”

Next up for the team is another home game, May 30 at the LEC, when they host the Maple Ridge Burrards. Game time is 7:30 p.m.


For more information contact:

Gary Ahuja 604.613.5242