The Maple Ridge Burrards were handed their first loss of the young Western Lacrosse Association on Sunday, as the Burnaby Lakers benefited from 13 power plays in an 8-5 victory.
Burrards president and general manager Lance Andre said he didn’t want to use it as an excuse, but the team was playing its third game in four nights, a gruelling task in a tough league.
“The guys were tired and beat up,” Andre said. “Burnaby played well, and we didn’t bring our top game.”
The Burrards remain shorthanded, with many of their key players still having not reported from the National Lacrosse League. So Andre is happy that his team has gotten off to a 3-1 start, which is good for second place in the senior men’s league.
So far, Pitt Meadows product Mike Mallory leads the league in goals (12) and points (22), while Jean-Luc Chetner leads the league in assists (13) and is fourth in points (16).
“Mallory is on fire. He’s doing great,” said Andre.
He added that Mallory has always been a quality player, but has been limited by injuries. This year, he is healthy and on top of his came.
The Burrards started their three-game set on Thursday with a 9-8 win over the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Saturday, they beat the Coquitlam Adanacs 10-3, then Sunday lost to Burnaby.
Ryan Keenan and Chase McIntyre both stepped up against Coquitlam, each with three goals and five points.
Local product Mitch McDole scored twice for Ridge.
Burnaby got three goals on 13 power plays, while the Burrards went 1-6 with the man advantage.
The Burrards will have new acquisition Jeff Shattler in the lineup for this weekend’s games, and Curtis Dickson may also be ready to rejoin the squad. He is nursing an injury sustained with the Calgary Roughnecks in the NLL championship.
The Burrards get a rematch with Burnaby on Friday at the Bill Copeland Arena.
Sunday the Burrards host the Victoria Shamrocks at Cam Neely Arena at 6 p.m.
The Shamrocks have started the season a surprising 0-3, and have been badly outscored by an aggregate 36-16.
Still, Andre expects a tough game.
“They have the firepower, and they’re a good team,” he said.