The Langley Thunder’s potentially lethal offence hit full throttle Wednesday night at the Langley Events Centre.
The aftermath: a 14-10 win over the visiting Nanaimo Timbermen.
It was the first win of the 2012 Western Lacrosse Association season for the defending playoff champion and last year’s Mann Cup finalist Thunder, which carried an 0-2 record into the game.
“We worked out some wrinkles,” Thunder veteran defender Rob Van Beek said. “It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t the most beautiful game in the world, but we ended up with the ‘W.’ The end result was what we wanted. I felt like the guys really started recognizing what we needed to do and how we need to do it.”
Langley’s vaunted three-pronged attack stung the Timbermen.
Newcomer Lewis Ratcliff scored four goals over a 1:24 span during the second period, Garrett Billings, back with the team after a one-year absence, scored twice and added seven assists, and Athan Iannucci notched a hat trick while levying eight shots on goal.
Alex Turner scored twice to go along with two assists for the home team.
Joel McCready, Todd Stockdale, and Ryan McMichael (who recorded four assists for a five-point night) also scored for the Thunder.
For Nanaimo, Scott Ranger found the net four times and added two assists in a losing effort.
The Thunder didn’t make things easy on themselves, especially while trying to close the game out in the third period.
Matt Leveque was slapped with a high sticking match penalty and a game misconduct at the 12:15 mark of the final period. The penalty, immediately off a faceoff, came eight seconds after Iannucci made it 12-8 for the Thunder.
Four minutes and seven seconds after Leveque’s penalty, Langley’s Kyle McEwen was given a five minute match penalty for butt ending and was tossed from the game.
However, the Thunder, led by Billings and Iannucci, managed to play an extended game of keepaway in the waning moments of the game to help preserve the Thunder’s lead, and victory.
The Thunder will look to even its record to 2-2 Saturday, when the senior A men’s team visits Coquitlam to take on the Adanacs. Game time at the Coquitlam Sports Centre is 7 p.m.