Burnaby keeps working in loss to Shamrocks

Lakers fall to Shamrocks


The Burnaby Lakers showed a glimpse of their Western Lacrosse Association promise despite a 12-9 loss to the Victoria Shamrocks.

The senior A Lakers rallied from a poor opening period against the visiting Shamrocks and gave arguably the club's best showing at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre in the final periods in the losing cause on Tuesday.

The Green and White showed little quit after falling behind, working for every loose ball and forced turnover to a man.

Trailing the defending Mann Cup champions by four goals on two separate occasions in the middle frame, Burnaby outscored Victoria 5-3 to pull to within one with 20 minutes left to play.

Neil Arbogast got things started, potting his first goal this season and fifth of his nine-year WLA career on transition following an assist off a turnover from second star Jackson Decker.

The home side then struck three times in four minutes to pare the deficit down to a single goal in the final minute of the period on a tally from Ilija Gajic following great loose-ball play from Jesse Fehr and others.

Team scoring leader Scott Jones and second game star Robert Church, with his hat-trick goal, also counted markers in the second-period rally.

The final period proved unlucky for the Lakers.

Decker kept the scoreline to within one goal with a quality finish off a two-on-one with Justin Salt. But a shorthanded goal from game star Jesse King and two balls solidly off the goal post by Gajic and Church kept a win at bay for Burnaby.

“It feels like we had spurts and clicked, but we had too long lapses and (Victoria) took advantage of it,” said Decker. “We have to play a full 60 (minutes).”

King led all scorers with five points, including four counters. Cory Conway also garnered five points, four of them helpers for the winners. Corey Small registered a hat trick for the 'Rocks, while Jeff Shattler added four assists.

Tyler Digby, in his second game this season for the Lakers, assisted on three Burnaby goals.

In the first period, Matt Beers tallied what many in attendance might well describe as the goal of the year, closing the gap to 6-3 with less than half a minute left in the stanza.

The play started in the defensive zone with Gajic forwarding the ball up the floor to a transitioning Salt, who managed a shot on goal. Beers, who was following the play, picked up the rebound and fired a wicked backhander past a startled Victoria keeper.

Burnaby has another tough match up upcoming. The Lakers visit Maple Ridge this Sunday in a deciding season-series game at Planet Ice.

Next up at home is the last-place Langley Thunder on Tuesday, June 28. Game time is 7:45 p.m.