Thunder stifle Shamrocks, win seventh straight

by Gary Ahuja

Dylan Kinnear (#55) scored twice in his season debut and was the game's first star as the Langley Thunder defeated the visiting Victoria Shamrocks 9-3 in Western Lacrosse Association action at Langley Events Centre on June 28. Ryan Molag LEC photo

A balanced offensive attack combined with outstanding goaltending sent the Langley Thunder to a seventh straight victory.

Seven players scored at least a goal and Frank Scigliano stopped 38 of 41 shots as the Thunder defeated the visiting Victoria Shamrocks 9-3 on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre. Langley sits first in the Western Lacrosse Association standings at 8-1 while the Shamrocks slipped to 4-4-1.

The Thunder never trailed in the contest, leading by scores of 4-1 and 6-1 at the intermissions.

“We started on time. Obviously, it is hard when you come over from the Island or have to travel there, so we knew our start was going to be very important tonight,” said Scigliano, who was the game’s third star.

“We were consistent for probably three quarters of that game – we gave them a couple of bad outside looks late, but other than that, I thought it was a complete effort. We had a good practice on Monday just to clarify our systems and it shows tonight with how we played our game.”

Dane Dobbie led the offence with a short-handed goal and four assists while Robert Church scored twice and set up two others. Connor Robinson (1+2) and Dylan Kinnear (2+1) each had three-point games and Jesse Gillespie (1+1), Kyle Brunsch (1+1) and Nathaniel Kozevnikov had the other Langley goals.

“Everywhere I have been, it’s offence by committee. You can have a bunch of sticks and a bunch of stars, but if the balls get stuck there and everyone else is not involved, then it is easy to defend,” said Thunder coach Curt Malawsky.

“Everyone got involved tonight and contributed in their own way; it was offence by committee.”

“Defensively, we did the little things that we preach in our room (and) the guys did a really good job on them and I think that was the difference. And when they did get looks, Frankie was again exceptional,” he added.

Brad McCulley led the Shamrocks with a pair of goals and Patrick Dodds had the other with Marshal King finishing with three assists. Cam Dunkerley made 39 saves in the Victoria goal.

Langley’s special teams came through with a pair of short-handed goals and one power-play marker on three chances while the Shamrocks went 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

Kinnear – who was making his season debut – was the game’s first star while McCulley was the second star.

The Thunder have little time to rest as they are right back in action on Thursday (June 29) with a visit to Queen’s Park Arena to face the 7-1 New Westminster Salmonbellies in a first-place showdown. Game time is 7:30pm.