UPDATED: Langley Thunder skid continues

First, the good news: Langley Thunder forward Pat Saunders continued his torrid pace last Wednesday, scoring twice and adding two assists against the visiting Victoria Shamrocks at the Langley Events Centre.

Saunders now has 26 points this season, tops in the Western Lacrosse Association to go along with his league-leading 13 goals.

Now, the bad news, he and his Thunder teammates were spanked by the Shamrocks, losing 16-6 as they dropped their third straight game.

The Thunder actually opened the scoring as Saunders scored 2:15 into the opening period, firing a shot past Shamrocks goaltender Cody Hagedorn. Goals from Jacob Ruest and a nice quick stick finish by Athan Iannucci gave the Thunder a 3-2 lead before Victoria’s Corey Small tied the game up after 20 minutes of play.

After the Shamrocks scored a short-handed goal to open the second period, Langley answered thanks to Iannucci’s second goal of the night, again on the powerplay to even things up at 4-4.

After that, it was all Victoria, who outscored the Thunder 12-2 from that point, including eight straight markers to win their fourth straight game.

Saunders, Iannucci, and Alex Turner also had four point nights for the Thunder in a losing cause.

Also on a positive note, Thunder rookie Jakob Doucet scored his first career WLA goal as the 10th overall pick in this year’s WLA Draft picked up a loose ball just outside the crease and put it past Hagedorn.

The Thunder are back in action next week with back-to-back games starting next Wednesday night when the host the Burnaby Lakers at the Langley Events Centre followed by a game at New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arena against the first place Salmonbellies.

Both game have 7:45 p.m. start times.

Maple Ridge Burrards 9, Thunder 7

The Thunder came into Planet Ice in Maple Ridge on Tuesday eager to quickly right their ship.

Instead, they sunk just a little bit deeper.

Langley dropped its second straight game after falling 9-7 to the host Maple Ridge Burrards in front of a sparse number of senior A boxla fans.

“We battled hard for two-and-a-half periods, but we just didn’t finish strongly and this is something that this group has to learn to do,” Thunder assistant coach Darcy Rhodes said. “We played two really good road periods and half of the third, but we just couldn’t get over that hump.”

On Tuesday, the Thunder had momentum at one point, jumping ahead 5-3 at the 12:24 mark of the second period on Jacob Ruest’s even strength goal.

Just a minute and four seconds after Ruest scored, the Burrards’ Ben McIntosh narrowed the margin to 5-4 as the Thunder took a one-goal lead into the second intermission.

The third period belonged to the Burrards, who out-scored the Thunder 5-2 to seal the victory.

Just past the midway point of the final frame, the Burrards reeled off three unanswered goals in 1:38 to take a 7-5 lead.

After Saunders scored his third of the night to make it 7-6, the Burrards gave themselves some breathing room again with back-to-back goals from Coady Adamson 57 seconds apart from each other to complete his hat trick.

Thunder veteran Lewis Ratcliff closed out the night’s scoring with 1:38 to go in the game.

FINAL BUZZER: High-level help is on the way in the form of a handful of veterans from the National Lacrosse League champion Edmonton Rush: Brett Mydske John Lintz, Nik Bilic and Tyler Melnyk will be playing their summer lacrosse in Langley.

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