WLA Finals Game 4: Goaltender Battle Leads to Langley OT Win

Story courtesy Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre and Paul Horn/New Westminster Salmonbellies. Photo courtesy Ryan Molag/Langley Events Centre.

For the second straight game overtime was needed; but this time it was the Langley Thunder emerging victorious thanks to a 6-5 win, evening the best-of-seven series at two games apiece.

The Thunder held off the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Tuesday night at Langley Events Centre in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series with Chase Scanlan’s goal at 8:58 of the 10-minute overtime period serving as the winner.

“I have to give credit to my teammates for getting me open,” Scanlan said, referencing Nathaniel Kozevnikov setting a nice seal which gave him the open space. “I just saw a perfect lane to take that shot far side and found my spot.”

New Westminster forced the extra period when Will Malcom scored with less than 18 seconds to play, tying the game at five. Kevin Crowley then gave the Bellies their first lead of the night at the 1:24 mark of overtime before Dylan Kinnear scored at 5:18, setting the stage for Scanlan’s heroics.

In Game 3 two nights earlier, the Thunder tied the game with less than two seconds to play and then took an early lead before New Westminster tied the score and then won the game in sudden-death overtime winner.

“We did that last game, and the message was they came back and beat us; it is our turn to do that,” said Langley coach Curt Malawsky about the message to his players as they awaited the overtime period.

“You can drag your lip around and pout about what happened and some of the goals, but you man up and play for the guy next to you. Keep grinding forward for the next 10 minutes and that is what the guys did, and we got the result.”

“That is just old-fashioned heart; a team that is not willing to quit. They just want to keep battling,” he added.

Goals were hard to come by in Game 4 with Clay Scanlan – the game’s third star -- the only player to score more than once as he tallied twice to lead the Thunder. Chase Scanlan, Connor Robinson and Dane Dobbie each finished with a goal and an assist with Kinnear scoring the other goal. Curtis Dickson and Robert Church both finished with three assists.

In goal, Frank Scigliano was the first star following a 41-save performance. His counterpart, Zach Higgins was the second star with 40 saves. Crowley, Keegan Bal and Haiden Dickson each scored once and set up a goal with Malcom and Brett Mydske chipping in with a goal apiece.

Game 5 of the series is set for Thursday (August 24) at New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arena before one of the teams will have a chance to clinch the WLA championship on Saturday (August 26) back at Langley Events Centre. Both games begin at 7:30pm.

Malawsky said the teams will rest, watch film and make the necessary adjustments as they both vie for the WLA title.

“It has been a heck of a series, great for BC Lacrosse and the WLA. I liked how it was refereed and I liked the great crowd. It is two great evenly matched teams and should be an exciting best-of-three,” he said.

New West scorers included Crowley, Bal and H. Dickson (all at 1-1-2) Meanwhile, Mitch Jones had 2 helpers while Mydske and Malcom earned singles.

For Langley, C. Dickson and Church each had 3 assists. Robinson, Chase Scanlan, and Dobbie all had 1-1-2 nights. The night’s only multi-goal scorer was the younger Scanlan brother, Clay, with a 2-0-2 evening. Kinnear had a single goal.

The series - much like most moments in the last two games - is again tied. Game 5 will be at Queens Park Arena on Thursday evening at 7:30.

Tickets are available at the Queens Park box office during business hours and one hour before game time. Fans can skip the line and buy their tickets online here.