For just over half the game, the Langley Thunder were right in the game, deadlocked at four goals apiece against the Maple Ridge Burrards.
Aidan Milburn and Brad McCulley had just scored power-play goals for the Thunder, erasing a 4-2 first period deficit to tie the game at the 12:07 mark of the middle frame. A little under half the game remained.
What happened next was a clinical dissection as the Burrards scored three straight to close the frame and then throttled the Thunder in the third period, scoring all seven goals in what became a 14-4 victory in Senior A Western Lacrosse Association action on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre.
Maple Ridge leads the league at 6-1 while Langley is 1-5, having lost four consecutive games, all of which have been at home.
“We knew that Maple Ridge didn’t have their strongest line-up and we needed to execute at a high level, and we just didn’t do that for long enough and consistent enough. A good team will wear you down,” said Thunder head coach Rod Jensen.
What also hurt the team was discipline as they took five penalties, with the Burrards capitalizing on four of their chances.
“(Maple Ridge) went to the Mann Cup last year, so we needed to execute at a high level,” he said. “We are not good enough to take the undisciplined penalties, they will take advantage of that.”
The Burrards were up 4-2 after one period with Connor Robinson scoring both Langley’s goals. And even after the Thunder pulled even with a pair of goals in the second, the Burrards firepower depth was too much to overcome for a depleted Thunder line-up.
Jensen said the team is still struggling with consistency as they deal with a revolving line-up because of injuries and absences as the season hit the one-third mark.
Matthew Dinsdale (four goals, seven points) and Athan Iannucci (four goals, six points) both had four-goal games while Riley Loewen topped the team with eight points, including three goals. Chase McIntyre rounded out the attack with three goal and five points.
In goal, Frank Scigliano finished with 31 saves on 35 shots before Brandon Humphrey came in for the final minutes, stopping all three shots.
Langley’s Jake Sundar played his first game since the season opener, stopping 43 of 54 shots as Maple Ridge bombarded the Thunder goal. Dan Lewis replaced him in the third period, stopping four of seven shots. Dane Dobbie (three assists) and James Rahe (two assists) also had multi-point games, as did Robinson who finished with three points.
Up next for the Thunder is a home-and-home series with the 0-5 Coquitlam Adanacs. The first game is Saturday, June 15 in Coquitlam before the teams face off at Langley Events Centre next Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.