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The New Westminster Salmonbellies will have a rough road to navigate if they hope to avoid being left out of the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs for the first time since 2004 while the Burnaby Lakers post-season hopes are good.
The Lakers won a showdown for third place by downing the Salmonbellies 9-4 at Bill Copeland Arena last Friday. The win gave Burnaby a 6-5-2 record which tied the Lakers with Victoria (7-5-0), although the Shamrocks had a game in hand.
The Salmonbellies’ record dropped to 6-7-0 which put them in a tie for fifth with Coquitlam (6-6-0) with the Adanacs having played one fewer game heading into Thursday night’s game against first-place Langley (10-4-0). In the last five seasons the Salmonbellies failed to finish first only in 2009 when they came second.
The Lakers and ’Bellies were tied 3-3 midway through the game before Burnaby busted out with six of the game’s final seven goals.
Dane Stevens and Scott Jones both had two goals and two assists. Other markers were scored by Shaun Dhaliwal, Justin Salt, Casey Jackson, Matt Quinton and Mike Brascia. The Lakers will play host to Nanaimo today (Friday) starting at 7 p.m.
Alex Gajic, a former Burnaby Jr. Laker, had two of New West’s goals with the others going to Sean Robinson and Corbyn Tao.
The Salmonbellies will be in Victoria on Tuesday before playing host to Nanaimo next Thursday starting at 7 p.m.
Last Thursday, the Salmonbellies downed the Maple Ridge Burrards 8-5 at Queen’s Park Arena despite being outshot 54-35.
Tyler Richards made 49 saves and Kevin Crowley and Jordan McBride each scored two goals. Crowley also added three assists while McBride had two. Other Salmonbellies goal scorers were Mike Berekoff, Kyle Ross, Robinson and Kevin Lunnie.
The Burrards outshot the ’Bellies 19-8 in the third period when New West was assessed four minor penalties, including two to Wade DeWolff with less than five minutes remaining. Maple Ridge didn’t score on the double minor until only 64 seconds were left in the game.
Both teams scored two powerplay goals, although New West had just three opportunities while Maple Ridge had eight.