A five-goal game from Kyle Brunsch helped the Langley Thunder make franchise history on Thursday night, June 30.
With Brunsch scoring five times and finishing with eight points, the Thunder defeated the visiting Delta Islanders 17-9 at Langley Events Centre. It was Langley’s 10th win against four losses and their .714 winning percentage surpassed the 2013 Thunder team which went 14-7 (.667) in BC Junior A Lacrosse League play.
Teams played an abbreviated season in 2021 and the BCJALL reduced the regular season from 21 to 14 games for this year.
“We were getting inside a lot more and creating opportunities for everyone and it just happened to be my night I guess,” Brunsch said. “We have a really good group of guys and a super unselfish offence. I think it is working out for everyone.”
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Langley briefly trailed twice in the first 11 minutes and the score was tied at four with just under six minutes to play before the Thunder took a 7-5 lead into the locker room. They extended the advantage to 13-9 after 40 minutes before shutting the door in the third.
“Nine in the first two (periods) was a little much and that’s where the focus was going into the third, let’s shut them down,” said Langley coach Adam Smith.
At 10-4, the Thunder are most likely locked into the third seed for the first round of the BCJALL playoffs and they will host either New Westminster or Delta in the post-season.
“You can’t be complacent. The big message is it is all well good to feel good right now to end that season, but now we go into another season. Everybody is 0-0 and we start over,” Smith said.
The Thunder were coming off a 13-6 loss the night before to the Coquitlam Adanacs and they were also breaking in some new bodies as they acquired Stewart, Andre and Noah Armitage from New Westminster ahead of the trade deadline.
“We need to get lots of touches and let the new guys feel the ball and get to know each other. So that’s what we focused on, execution and getting to know each other,” Smith said about the team’s strategy.
Brunsch has grown up playing against all three new acquisitions and is excited for what they add.
“They are great guys, great players. They bring a lot of size and skill to the floor. and they are only going to help us get more goals and create more opportunities for everyone,” he said.
While Brunsch finished with eight points, Stuart Phillips (three goals, three assists) and Stewart (three goals, one assist) both had hat tricks while Tristan Kirkham scored twice and had five points. Kaden Doughty (one goal, two assists), Andre (one goal, one assist), Declan Fitzpatrick (one goal, one assist) and Isaac Ngyou (one goal) rounded out the scoring. Drew Kask chipped in with three assists.
Troy Cuzzetto stopped 39 of 48 shots for the Thunder while Langley beat Braeden Washington for 11 goals on 29 shots and Ashton LeClair six times on 20 shots.
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