New West ’Bellies draw first blood against Langley Thunder

New Westminster outscored Langley in Monday’s Western Lacrosse Association series opener. Game two is Thursday at the LEC.

The Langley Thunder have a day to regroup, and then come up with a plan to slow down the New Westminster Salmonbellies’ offence in their best-of-seven Western Lacrosse Association series.

The Salmonbellies hit double figures and then some in scoring Tuesday at New West’s Queen’s Park Arena, beating the Thunder 15-12 to take a 1-0 lead in games.

The Thunder just couldn’t recover from a miserable second period that saw the Salmonbellies outscore them by an 8-1 margin to take a 12-5 lead into the intermission.

A strong final frame, in which the Thunder scored seven goals to the ’Bellies’ three wasn’t enough as New Westminster drew first blood.

New West’s Logan Schuss (six goals, two assists) and Keegan Bal (five goals, two assists) accounted for nearly half of their team’s goal output and were named first and second star of the game, respectively.

Patrick Saunders (four goals, one assist) Alex Turner (two goals, three assists) and Jacob Ruest (two goals, two assists) led Langley’s balanced offence in a losing cause.

Scoring singles for the Thunder were Anthony Malcom, Athan Iannucci, Nik Bilic, and Mitch McMichael.

The Thunder used two goaltenders during the game with Brodie MacDonald surrendering 10 goals and Rocky Bowman getting beaten five times.

The Thunder host the Salmonbellies in game two Thursday night at the Langley Events Centre, starting at 7:45 p.m.

FINAL BUZZER: The series features the second- and- third-place teams in the WLA during the regular season. The Thunder finished with a 9-9 mark while the Salmonbellies posted a 12-6 record.

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