Lakers tie season series with A's
The Burnaby Lakers are proving to be one of the better road teams in the league. Now it's time to show what the senior A club can do at home.
The Lakers evened their 2017 Western Lacrosse Association season series with the Adanacs, winning their fourth game away from home with a 13-7 victory in Coquitlam on Saturday.
Burnaby got three-goal efforts from both righthander Scott Jones and Justin Salt, InsideLacrosse's pick as transition player of the year in the NLL, in the emphatic win on the road.
Jones got the visitors off to a roaring start scoring the game's first two goals in the opening six minutes, including a shorthanded counter which was one of four transition goals in the game by the Burnaby club.
The Lakers tallied three more times in the period, taking a 5-2 advantage into the first intermission, including a breakout counter by Eli McLaughlin from Salt and Matt Spanger that would make anyone's highlight reel package.
Salt put the Lakers up by four goals just minutes into the middle frame and then bookended the period with his second in the stanza, finishing off a rebound shot on goal by Cam Milligan on a two-on-one break.
Shaun Dhaliwal kept his goal-scoring streak alive, potting his 11th goal of the campaign off a screened shot from the right side early in the third period.
The seven-year veteran has now scored in eight consecutive games and is on par for his best season ever after taking last season off as a first-year firefighter.
"I didn't expect to have the legs or the stick to stay with the guys. But I'm glad I could be back and have a role with the team," said Dhaliwal, who collected his 17th point this season. "I feel we do have the best team in the league."
Later in the frame, Jones and Salt helped round out the scoring with their respective hat-trick goals a minute apart followed by Jason Jones' second of the game on a cagey shot off another Adanac rebound.
Zac Boychuk picked up his second win of the campaign, turning aside 32 of 39 Coquitlam shots on goal.
The win was an important one for the Lakers who needed a boost in confidence after managing just a single point in their last two outings.
"It was for last Saturday (a 12-9 loss in Coquitlam) and Tuesday (a 10-10 overtime tie with Nanaimo at home) and kind of getting kicked in the butt," said Dhaliwal. "We all talked and made ourselves accountable to get this two points."
With its next two games at the Copeland centre, Tuesday against Langley and Friday hosting the A's in the series decider, there is no time like the present for the Lakers to put some distance between themselves and those teams chasing them.
"Our main goal is to have that separation and go into the playoffs. But it's going to be a dog fight," Dhaliwal added.
Photos courtesy of Garrett James