Do or die for Langley Tier 1 Thunder

Game will decide which team advances to the semifinals, and which team is done for the summer

It is down to a winner-take all game on Tuesday in Victoria.

The Langley Thunder used a dominant second period to ensure their season continued, scoring eight goals in the second period alone to turn a 3-3 deadlock into an 11-5 lead on Sunday afternoon at Langley Events Centre.

And after the visiting Victoria Shamrocks scored a pair of goals to open the third period, cutting the deficit to four, the Thunder stiffened defensively, allowing just one goal over the rest of the way, including none over the final 10 minutes, as they won 13-8.

The best-of-three BC Junior Tier 1 quarter-final series now shifts back to Victoria for the deciding game on Tuesday afternoon (July 16, 5 p.m.) to see which team advances to the semifinals, and which team is done for the summer.

The Shamrocks are the second seed for the playoffs thanks to their 13-4-1 victory while the Thunder came in as the seventh seed following a 7-11 season, which included a pair of losses to Victoria, 11-5 and 14-7.

READ MORE: Thunder snap losing streak

In game one in Victoria on Saturday, the Thunder played the Shamrocks tough Langley led 4-3 late into the second period before giving up a pair of goals in the final four minutes, including one with just four seconds to go before intermission. Victoria then scored four straight in the third before the Thunder finally got one back in a 9-5 Shamrocks victory.

But game two would be a different story.

The teams were once again tied at three following one period but Langley put on an offensive display in the middle stanza, scoring eight times while allowing just a pair. By comparison, the Shamrocks were the second stingiest team during the regular season, surrendering just 7.56 goals against per game, a number the Thunder eclipsed in less than 20 minutes of work.

“In the second period, we started moving the ball all over the place and started going to the net,” said Langley head coach Kris Bryde on the 20 minutes which swung the momentum in favour of the Thunder.

Leading the charge in game two offensively was Kyle Brunsch, who delivered five goals and seven points, while Trevayne Hunter and Jordan Daniel both potted a pair. Chase Moore, Kanen Hunter and Tristan Kirkham rounded out the scoring with a goal apiece. Braiden Struss-Reid chipped in with three assists while Nathan Lavigne set up a pair of goals.

“The offence was going, that’s what the coaching staff wanted us to do in the first game (and) we didn’t … but today we did,” explained Trevayne Hunter.

In goal, Dryden Recsky finished with 42 saves for the victory. That came on the heels of a 54-save effort in game one, a combined .850 save percentage.

Cameron Lumb led Victoria with two goals and an assist while Matthew Hermsen had a pair of goals and Evan Law had three assists in game two.

One area the Thunder will need to improve is the fact four of Victoria’s eight goals came short-handed.

This is the second straight season Langley has faced a third and deciding quarter-final game, losing 10-9 to the Port Coquitlam Saints in 2018.

Kanen Hunter said the experience of last year, where the intensity of the game was ratcheted up, is something the team can draw on as they look to extend their season.

“And we have an older team now, we have definitely really gelled over these two years now,” he said. The message from the coaches will be simple.

“We have to play exactly like we did today. We out-transitioned them, we played solid defensively five- on-five, we were pretty disciplined, we stayed out of the box,” Bryde said.

“And we got a lot of opportunities in the reverse transition ourselves. We just played an overall great game today and got the result we wanted.”



Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter



Just Posted

VIDEO: Thanksgiving Day crash in Langley sent a few to hospital

No one believed seriously injured in head-on accident at 232nd Street and Fraser Highway

ON COOKING: Embrace the experience, from beginning to end

A passion for cooking can easily be rekindled according to this chef and culinary instructor

Langley pioneers remember heritage buildings

Ahead of November’s Douglas Day banquet, Fred Pepin speaks to importance of preserving local history

Turkeys avoid dinner plate at Thanksgiving meal in Aldergrove

Happy Herd Farm Sanctuary planned a vegan potluck dinner Sunday

Soroptimists of the Langleys host women’s health forum

Topics covered include medical assistance in dying, accessing medical cannabis, and a healthy brain

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Most Read