Thunder welcome Lakers to LEC

by Gary Ahuja

With a week since they last played, the Langley Thunder are set to get another crack at returning to the win column as they host the Burnaby Lakers for the first time this Western Lacrosse Association season.

The Lakers are set to visit Langley Events Centre on June 29 (7:30pm) as Burnaby (3-6) searches for a second win in their past three games while the Thunder (3-4) aim to end a three-game losing streak.

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For all their assembled offensive firepower, the Thunder offence has been largely silent the past three games, scoring a total of 22 goals in those contests. But it has not been for lack of effort with Langley firing 172 shots on goals over those games only to run into what seems like a brick wall with the opposing goalies – New Westminster’s Zach Higgins (.908), Victoria’s Pete Dubenski (.877) and Coquitlam’s Christian Del Bianco (.820) – sporting a combined .872 save percentage over that span. By comparison, the league average save percentage among goalies still currently on WLA rosters, is .801.

Previous games

Langley comes in on a three-game losing streak, falling 10-9 to Coquitlam on June 18 and 17-7 the following day in Victoria, with both of those games on the road. The Thunder then played New Westminster at home on June 22, losing 9-6 as they were held to a season-low in goals despite firing 65 shots on goal.

The Lakers are coming off a split in their home-and-home series with the Coquitlam Adanacs, winning 12-9 in Burnaby on June 24 before dropping the rematch 11-9 the next night in Coquitlam.

Offensive leaders

Langley has four players who have reached double figures in goals so far as Robert Church and Chase Scanlan have each scored 13 goals while Dane Dobbie (12) and Curtis Dickson (11) are right behind in that stat as well as sitting one-two in team scoring with 28 points for Dickson and 27 for Dobbie.

Among WLA players with 10 more goals, Church is third in shooting percentage at .302.

For the Lakers, Ryan Martel is the team’s leading scorer with 15 goals and 30 points while Toron Eccleston has 15 goals and 28 points.

The Lakers are averaging 9.7 goals per game, just ahead of Langley’s 9.0.


Frank Scigliano has started the last five games and has a 10.23 goals against average and an .803 save percentage. The Thunder have also activated Steve Fryer in goal.

For Burnaby, Zak Boychuk has played most minutes in the Lakers’ crease with an 11.28 goals against average and a .772 save percentage.

Special teams

On the power play, Burnaby leads the league with 19 goals while Langley is third at 17, although no WLA team is operating as efficiently with the man advantage as the Thunder, who have scored on exactly half (50 per cent) of the chances.  The Burnaby power play is operating at 38.8 per cent.

One area which could favour the Thunder is the fact that no team averages more penalty minutes than the Lakers (17.8 minutes per game) with Burnaby successfully killing off 57.8 of the opposing team’s chances, while Langley’s success rate is 51.7 per cent.