The Langley Thunder is starting to run away from the rest of the Western Lacrosse Association.
Saturday's 9-6 win over the Nanaimo Timbermen at Nanaimo's Frank Crane Arena was the WLA-leading Thunder's fourth consecutive victory and fifth in its last six games, and improves the local senior A squad's record to 10-4.
The defending WLA playoff champion Thunder now has a six-point lead over the next closest teams, Victoria and Burnaby, in league standings.
Against Nanaimo, the Thunder out-scored the hosts 4-2 in the second period, to turn a 2-2 tie into a 6-4 advantage heading into the final frame.
The Thunder led, 7-5, early in the third period before goals by Alex Turner and Rob Van Beek gave the visitors breathing room.
Nanaimo's Cody Bremner closed out the game's scoring with 4: 33 to go in regulation
Turner led the Thunder with a hat trick and one assist. Van Beek also notched a hat trick, highlighted by a pair of unassisted tallies.
Langley's top two point-getters, Athan Iannucci and Lewis Ratcliff, also found the net for the Thunder. Rob Danilkiewicz rounded out Langley's goal-scorers.
WLA leading scorer Scott Ranger led the T-Men attack with a pair of goals.
The Timbermen outshot the Thunder 54-41, but Langley netminder Steve Fryer was a rock between the pipes, making 48 saves.
Thunder 14, Victoria Shamrocks 11 (overtime)
In a clash between the WLA's two top teams, the Thunder tallied the only three goals of the overtime period to trip up the host Victoria Shamrocks Friday at Bear Mountain Arena.
Ratcliff (with his fourth of the night), Kyle Belton, and Kerry Susheski found the net for the Thunder during the extra period.
The Thunder looked well on its way to a victory, up 11-9 with a little more than a minute to play in regulation.
But a pair of goals by the 'Rocks' Jeff Shattler, at the 19 minute and 19: 38 marks of the final frame, tied the score at 11-11 and sent the contest into overtime.
Langley took an 8-5 lead into the third period.
The Thunder's onetwo punch of Ratcliff and Iannucci had a field day in this high-scoring affair.
Ratcliff added two assists to go with his four goals while Iannucci had a hat trick and four helpers.
Belton and Susheski each scored a pair for the Thunder. Langley's other goals came off the sticks of Tor Reinholdt, Nik Bilic, and Joel McCready.
Rookie Shayne Jackson recorded five assists in the Thunder victory.
In a cleanly played game, both teams took advantage of what powerplay chances they had.
The Thunder and Shamrocks both went three-for-four with the man advantage.
The Thunder will try to make it five consecutive wins tonight (July 12) with a visit to New Westminster's Queen's Park Arena to take on the 6-7 Salmonbellies.
Game time is 7: 45 p.m.
FINAL WHISTLE: The Thunder currently tops all senior A teams in Subway Restaurants LacrosseTalk National Rankings.
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