Maple Ridge Burrards coach Chris Gill liked the way his team played in a 9-9 tie in Victoria on Friday night, but was critical of an 8-4 victory over Nanaimo on Sunday at Planet Ice.
“It was a tale of two games. In the Victoria game we played disciplined and as a team for the whole game. Tonight was a little choppy a little sloppy.”
The Shamrocks had beaten the Burrards 8-7 in Maple Ridge the Sunday prior, and Ridge was ready for some payback in Victoria.
Gill said his guys were all business on Friday.
“We try to be up for every game, but there was personal pride going into Victoria. It’s a great rink to play in, and they’ve got a packed building. The guys just played really great that game.”
Curtis Dickson, the 2013 scoring leader, was back in the lineup and good for five of the nine goals. He added two assists for a seven-point night against the WLA’s top team. Riley Loewen had two goals and two assists, Jarret Davis had a goal and three assists, and Mike Mallory had a goal and two points.
Dickson put the Burrards up early in overtime, but WLA OT is not sudden death, and Victoria tied it up with 1:15 to play.
“Friday night was a great effort. Dickson had a great game – he put on a good show for the crowd in Victoria,” said GM Daren Fridge. “It certainly gave us confidence, knowing that each time we played them the games have been close, and they are right now the top team in the league, and certainly with the biggest payroll.”
Dickson is playing for the national team in field lacrosse later this month, and has been playing with the Denver Outlaws field lacrosse team to prepare. He was forced to Miss Sunday’s game for commitments there. He will return to the Burrards later in the month, to finish up the season and lead the offence in the playoffs.
Sunday the Burrards shut down the Nanaimo Timbermen in an 8-4 victory. The game was scoreless through the first period, and was tied 4-4 with only 14 minutes left to play. Then the Burrards took over. Riley Loewen scored three, Davis had four assists, and other scorers were Zack Porter, Mitchell Bannister, Spencer Evans, Andrew Murphy and Garrett McIntosh.
“The defence played lights out, the goaltending played lights out like they always do, the offence just needs to commit to every shift,” said Gill.
He said it can be tough for the forwards to find some chemistry with the lineup frequently changing.
Ridge is 6-5-1, and will look to improve on that in their next home game, Tuesday, July 8 at 7:45 p.m. when they host the Coquitlam Adanacs. They have six games left, and the next three straight are against the Adanacs, who have gone 4-5 so far.
“The schedule gets harder – not because the schedule is harder, but because we’re playing against teams that are fighting for playoff positions right now,” said Gill. “As you get later in the year it gets tighter. And right now the third, fourth, fifth and sixth teams are within three or four points of each other.”