Sports

Reid ’em and weep, Burrards deal a loss

Nanaimo Timbermen ball-carrier Cayle Ratcliff faces tight checking from Maple Ridge Burrard Colton Porter during Sunday’s opener. - Colleen Flanagan
Nanaimo Timbermen ball-carrier Cayle Ratcliff faces tight checking from Maple Ridge Burrard Colton Porter during Sunday’s opener.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan

No starting goaltender?

No WLA scoring leader?

No problem.

The Maple Ridge Burrards had to sweat out a 10-minute overtime, including the final minutes with their third-string goaltender holding the fort, but gutted out an 8-6 win over the Nanaimo Timbermen.

Planet Ice was packed, as minor lacrosse players came for Sunday’s opening night pre-game barbecue and festivities, and the Burrards wanted to give them a good show.

Scoring leader Curtis Dickson and starting goaltender Frankie Scigliano were still with the Calgary Roughnecks in the National Lacrosse League playoffs, and other players were missing as well.

So some of the supporting cast stepped into the limelight, and new coach Chris Gill had to rely on his grinders to get the win.

They got up 4-1, but then let the T-men tie it up..

Then, with a five-on-three power play, the Burrards gave up a shorthanded goal to go down 6-5. Jarrett Davis fed a pass to Mike Mallory for an empty-netter to tie it up and salvage the power play from a complete disaster.

The game ended 6-6, and went into OT.

Creighton Reid played hero. He had already converted a third-period breakaway with a top-corner goal, and got his second halfway through the overtime as he spun off a hit and let got a quick shot for the game winner.

New addition Ryan McMichael ripped a shot top corner to get the insurance marker.

“It was a little sloppy on both ends, which is kind of expected for the first game of year,” said Davis.

He played his last NLL game on Friday night with Edmonton, and said he didn’t have much energy for the hope opener

“I barely had anything in there,” he admitted. “At least it was enough to get the win tonight.

“If you want to make the playoffs, you’ve got to win those tight games.

“The strength of our team came from the hustlers,” he added.

One of those “hustlers” was his brother Aaron, who had two huge hits, including a momentum-stealing blast in the overtime.

Jarrett had some backhanded compliments for his brother.

“He’s not known for that. His old man strength is starting to set in,” he observed.

Aaron is 30.

“Usually it’s him on the other end – receiving those hits,” continued Jarrett. “He puts in a lot of work in the off-season, so it’s nice to see him throw the weight around a little.”

Gill said the offence generated good looks, but there wasn’t enough finish.

“We hit seven, eight, nine posts – we were getting our chances,” he said. “We can’t let people hang around. We had them where we wanted them, at 4-1.”

He praised the work of goaltender Carson Michaud, who was the backup last year, and is slated to back up first-round pick Scigliano this year.

But Michaud went off hopping on one foot with 3:23 left in overtime – just as Nanaimo was about to pull its goaltender to try and tie the game.

It was on third stringer Jeremy Funk to come in cold and preserve the win.

“He wasn’t expecting to go in, but he did his job, and stopped two balls – good for him,” said Gill

Mallory had two goals and an assist in the game, and Andrew Murphy had three assists.

In the WLA’s first game of the year, the Coquitlam Adanacs beat the Langley Thunder 9-7 on Saturday.

Now Langley is in Maple Ridge, at Cam Neely Arena in Planet Ice, on Sunday at 6:45 p.m.

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