Playing with emotion can be a good thing, but when a team can’t corral their emotions and keep them in check, things can spiral out of control.
On Thursday night at Langley Events Centre, that scenario played out, unfortunately for the Langley Junior Thunder, in an 11-5 defeat.
The Thunder found themselves in decent enough shape, trailing 3-1 after 20 minutes to the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs, the top team in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League.
But a parade to the penalty box did Langley in as they were whistled for 11 minutes of short-handed time (plus another two minutes at the intermission buzzer) and the Adanacs made them pay, scoring six goals – three of them on the power play – in a 5:28 span.
“That second period, we let emotions control the game. We were too fired up by some bad calls and let that get us off our game,” said Langley coach Matt Leveque. “They are at an age where they play with a lot of emotion, a lot of heart, and when the refs take control of the game, that really hurts.”
Langley was called for 12 penalties while Coquitlam was called for eight. However, three for each team were coincidental minors, and two other Adanac infractions were called in the third period – compared to none for Langley – with the visitors firmly in control of the game.
“We were here to play lacrosse and it just turned into a power-play, short-man kind of game,” Leveque said.
Ryan Martel led the Langley offence with two goals and two assists while Ty Ewen, Dylan McIntosh and Tesi Oakes had a goal apiece.
Coquitlam was led by two goals each from the trio of Larson Sundown, Dennon Armstrong and Ethan Ticehurst.
The loss dropped Langley to 7-6-1 on the season and Coquitlam improved to 13-2-1. The Thunder are five points back of fourth-place Port Coquitlam with seven games remaining. Making matters even tougher for Langley is the fact six of the seven games are away from the LEC.
The one silver lining for Langley is the fact four of their games are against Delta (twice), Burnaby and Port Coquitlam and the Thunder are 5-0-1 against those three and Nanaimo.
Conversely, the Thunder are 0-6 against the league’s top three teams, Coquitlam, Victoria and New Westminster. Langley plays New West twice and Victoria once to round out their schedule, so they will need to likely win at least one of those three games, something Leveque knows his squad is capable of.
“We know we can beat these teams when we play 60 minutes. It is playing the 60 minutes that is the tough part.”
The Thunder are back in action on Saturday night at the Ladner Leisure Centre against the Delta Islanders. Game time is 7 p.m.