Langley Thunder’s Jordan Dance rubbed shoulders with Maple Ridge Burrards’ Daniel Amesbury during Sunday’s Western Lacrosse Association game at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge.

Langley Thunder outscored by Maple Ridge Burrards in WLA opener

Langley’s defence struggled against a physical, up-tempo Maple Ridge foe.

Despite their best efforts, the Langley Thunder simply couldn’t catch up to the host Maple Ridge Burrards in the 2016 Western Lacrosse Association season opener for both teams.

The Burrards led from start to finish in an 11-7 victory, in front of a sizable crowd of senior A boxla fans Sunday at Maple Ridge’s Planet Ice.

“Overall there were some good things that we did, and obviously there were some things that we need to work on,” Thunder head coach Darcy Rhodes said. “With a young group there’s a learning curve and it’s just getting that experience under our belt. We’ll grow as a unit and work on the things that we need to.”

The game had an ongoing pattern with the Burrards scoring in bunches to give themselves some breathing room, the Thunder rallying to either tie the score or get within a couple of goals, and Maple Ridge pulling away again with another cluster of goals.

The score was tied 2-2 late in the first period, but that was as close as the Thunder would come.

Maple Ridge owned the middle portion of the game, scoring four unanswered goals to take a 6-2 lead.

After another Langley comeback that saw the visitors close the gap to 6-5, the Burrards grabbed the reins again, outscoring the Thunder 5-2 the rest of the way.

Luke Gillespie led the Burrards’ offence with four goals and two assists.

Tom Johnson and Mike Mallory each tallied a pair for the Burrards.

Burrards goaltender Charles Claxton made 35 saves and was named third star of the game.

The young Thunder team is missing some of its star power from past years – veteran offensive leaders Athan Iannucci and Alex Turner both won’t be returning this year, while team captain Brett Mydske is playing for the Saskatchewan Rush, who are in the National Lacrosse League Champion’s Cup series against the Buffalo Bandits.

Rhodes said the Thunder recruited players who are eager to step up to the next level in their lacrosse pursuits, adding, “the ones who are hungry and understand they have to put the hard work in and give all they have on the floor for the Thunder this year.”

Against Maple Ridge, Jordan Dance led the Thunder with three goals, while James Rahe scored once and added four assists.

Home opener June 1

Next up for the Thunder is a Saturday night visit to the Coquitlam Sports Centre,  where they’ll be taking on the Adanacs.

The Thunder’s home opener is next Wednesday, June 1, when they host the Burnaby Lakers at the Langley Events Centre.

Game time is 7:45 p.m.

Just Posted

Langley golfer Erin Lee wins under-15 title at Boston Pizza National Championship

Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour wraps up in Phoenix, Arizona on Remembrance Day weekend

Odd Thoughts: History value-added… or subtracted

Langley columnist Bob Groeneveld looks at the numbers of history.

Gas prices in Metro Vancouver to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Five wins in a row for the TWU hockey Spartans

Langley university men’s hockey team will put their streak on the line when they play Selkirk

Two Langley affordable housing projects get provincial funding

First phase of $1.9 billion program to build residences for low and middle-income people

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Want to buy your first home? Move to Kamloops or Prince George

Kamloops, Prince George, Campbell River and Langford are the only other markets in the study without gaps between required and actual income in owning a home.

Seniors in care homes may not get referendum ballots in the mail: Seniors Advocate

Voters list was established in May 2017, so if they moved into a care home since then….

Feds give $2 million for anti-extremism programs in B.C.

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said supporting efforts locally is key to prevention

UPDATE: Pedestrian hit by train in Maple Ridge

Emergency responders on tracks along River Road

Should the legal age for cannabis be increased to 21?

B.C. residents have a more mellow attitude to the age limit for pot – but 23 per cent want the legal age increased

Expect ride hailing in B.C. by 2020, Premier Horgan says

Taxi-style insurance option needed for part-time drivers

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

Most Read