Lakers make playoffs for first time in four years
The Burnaby Lakers needed a little help opening the door but they are in the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs for the first time since 2008.
The Lakers secured their spot in the final game of the regular season, but they weren't one of the teams on the floor at the time.
The last-place Maple Ridge Burrards upset the New Westminster Salmonbellies 12-6 on Sunday leaving the perennial powerhouse with a 9-9-0 record, two points behind both Burnaby (9-7-2) and Coquitlam (10-8-0), who tied for third.
Since the Adanacs had more wins than the Lakers, Burnaby finishes fourth and will take on the first-place Langley Thunder in a best-of-seven semifinal.
The Thunder helped to make it a nail-biting weekend for the Lakers by edging them 8-7 at Bill Copeland Arena last Friday. Former Jr. Laker Garrett Billings, a Langley native, scored the decisive goal with 61 seconds left in the third period.
Despite the disappointing defeat, the Lakers had to turn around the next night and go to Coquitlam and beat the Adanacs 8-5 to keep their playoff hopes alive and in the hands of the Burrards. Burnaby was fortunate when Maple Ridge's top player Curtis Dickson, who had been injured most of the year, scored six goals and assisted on another in just his second game this season.
Scott Tinning and Carlton Schuss scored two goals apiece for Burnaby against Langley with singles going to Rory McDade, Colton Clark and Peter McFetridge.
Clark also had three assists Friday, and then on Saturday he had two goals and three assists, as did Scott Jones. Dane Stevens also had a five-point night including three goals. Casey Jackson had the other Burnaby goal.
The semifinal will begin Wednesday in Langley with Game 2 set for Friday at Copeland. The third game will be in Langley next Tuesday with Game 4 in Burnaby on Thursday, Aug. 9. If necessary, the rest of the series will go Monday, Aug. 13 in Langley, Thursday Aug. 16 at Copeland, and Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Langley Events Centre.
The other series features Coquitlam against the Victoria Shamrocks, which starts Saturday in Victoria. All games in both series start at 7:45 p.m.