Burnaby Lakers tops at special teams

Defence wins games and the Burnaby Lakers are inching closer to that eventuality.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="400"]church4 Robert Church led the Lakers in power play goals this season with eight in WLA league and playoffs. Garrett James photo[/caption]

Last season, the senior A Lakers sported the best goals against in the Western Lacrosse Association with just 151 goals allowed against them during the regular season.

The Lakers also topped the WLA in special team penalty killing, sporting a league-high 0.738 stop percentage during the 18-game schedule.

Burnaby also allowed a league-low 17 goals against on 65 shorthanded opportunities while on the penalty kill in 2016.

The Lakers scored 10 goals while playing down a man just one marker shy of Victoria's chart-topping 11 shorties. However, the Shamrocks had 20 more shorthanded opportunities than did Burnaby in regular season play.

Eli McLaughlin led the Lakers in league play with four shorthanded goals, while Justin Salt and Robert Church each added a pair. Ilija Gajic and Scott Jones also contributed with a single counter apiece. Salt would also add another two shorties during the post season.

On the power play, Burnaby placed a respectable third behind Victoria and New Westminster with a 0.429 scoring percentage during the regular season.

In the playoffs, the Lakers were fractionally edged out of top spot in power-play proficiency by Victoria by one-one thousandths of a point, capitalizing on 11 of 32 extra-man opportunities.

This season, Church led the Lakers with eight power-play tallies in league and playoffs. Scott Jones, Tyler Digby, Dane Stevens, Josh Byrne and McLaughlin all collected a total of five goals apiece while with the man advantage.