Burnaby knocks the Burrards down a peg

Lakers even series with Maple Ridge

 

The Burnaby Lakers did what they had to do – knock off the first-place team in the Western Lacrosse Association.

Coming off a loss last week at home and an overtime defeat on the road to the same Burrards earlier in the season, Burnaby badly needed two points to keep pace in the increasingly competitive senior A loop.

The win momentarily ties Burnaby with the Adanacs at 3-2-0 as the two clubs prepare to go head-to-head in Coquitlam this Saturday night.

In Burnaby, Zak Boychuk got the opportunity to avenge the loss he suffered in goal in Maple Ridge and did not disappoint, stopping 41 shots to register his third win as a Laker. Boychuk currently leads the league with a 0.862 save percentage.

The Lakers gave up a pair of early goals to the Burrards but third-year defender Nathan Klein cut the deficit in half with a timely goal on transition from Iljia Gajic to help spark a four-goal Burnaby run.

“It's good to get a win and get momentum,” said Klein, a third-year Laker who last scored a goal in his final year of junior A with the Coquitlam Adanacs. “I think (the goal) was pretty big. I don't score too much. We're trying to get more goals on transition. I saw the opportunity and went for it.”

Robert Church, who led his team with a five-point night, help carry on that momentum, setting up two goals and tallying a nice one himself from the end line to give the Green and White a 4-2 period lead.

Burnaby built upon the lead in the middle frame with single counters from third star Eli McLaughlin and Jason Jones.

After both Mike Brascia and Burrard's Travis Irving were tossed for fighting, Maple Ridge scrapped back onto the score sheet, scoring twice in the final three minutes of the period to pull back to within two.

Maple Ridge's top guns Jarrett Davis, Mike Mallory, Luke Gillespie and second star Ben McIntosh, with three goals and two helpers, combined to make it a frantic finish at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

But with the score knotted at 6-6, McLaughlin tallied his second shorthanded goal of the game, with help from Church and rookie runner Josh Byrne, to put the home team in the lead for good.

Ten minutes later, Scott Jones notched the game-winner on a power play with his second goal of the game. Jones currently eads the team with five goals and 16 total points.

Dane Stevens and McLaughlin share second place on the roster with eight goals and six assists apiece.

First star Matt Beers was a pillar of strength on the Burnaby back line, which collectively has conceded less than seven goals against in its first five WLA contests.

“I think we play well with intensity and grit and if we do that, we'll come out with (the win),” added Klein. “It's an important part of the game to keep that intensity up.”

Burnaby could take over sole possession of third place and a season-series edge against the A's with a win in Coquitlam this weekend. Game time at the sports centre is 7 p.m.

Next up at home for the Lakers are the defending Mann Cup champion Victoria Shamrocks on Tuesday, June 21. Game time is an early 7 p.m. start.