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Tier 1 Langley Thunder start new season with a win

A young team: 12 are first-year juniors, including the entire offence

Langley Thunder kicked their season off in style on Tuesday night, April 30.

Hosting the New Westminster Salmonbellies in BC Junior Tier 1 Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre, the Thunder exploded for seven goals in the second period on their way to the 10-8 victory.

“It is a really young group, and it is going to take some time, but it is always nice to start with a win,” explained Langley coach Darren Buchan. “It should be a fun and exciting year; we’ve got some big boys on the back end and solid goaltending. We just need some time for our young guys up front to gel.”

Twelve of the team’s 20 players are all first-year juniors, including the entire offence.

Connyr Welch was strong all game on face-offs and led the offence with a hat trick while Cashton Hemsworth and Dane Hiebert each potted a pair of goals. Mac Timms, Mason Eastgate and Brayden Longacre chipped in a goal apiece. Caleb Khan made 31 saves between the pipes, while also contributing a pair of assists.

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Ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes, the Thunder opened the middle frame with four of the first five goals. For the period, Langley scored seven times for a 10-6 lead.

“They battled. It was a tight first period, they came out in the second period and got their legs and started to play well. And then they got a little tight in the third period and had to hang on a little bit,” Buchan said.

On special teams, the Thunder did manage to score twice with the man advantage, but their power play also surrendered a pair of short-handed goals. Langley also scored once while playing a man short.

Robert Knutson scored twice for the Salmonbellies, while Kane Roberts, Aiden Graham, Cayden Barker, Charlie Johnson, Jaxson Roy and Jack Phelan had a goal apiece. Aiden Holt finished with 42 saves as Langley outshot New Westminster 52-38.

The Thunder are back in action Friday, May 3 as they visit the Delta Islanders.

Following that, the team will have 10 days off before they host Burnaby Lakers at Langley Events Centre on May 14 with a 7:30 p.m. start time.

Langley Thunder lacrosse organization consists of Senior A, Junior A and Junior Tier teams who play in the Western Lacrosse Association, BC Junior A Lacrosse League and BC Junior Tier 1 Lacrosse League respectively.

All three teams play their home games at Langley Events Centre.

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