The Maple Ridge Burrards notched their first win of the postseason Sunday night on the road at Queen’s Park Arena, beating the New Westminster Salmonbellies 9-8.
With the win, the Burrards cut their series deficit in half, as they trail the ‘Bellies two games to one in their best-of-seven Western Lacrosse Association semi-final playoff series.
“Obviously you don’t want to go down three games to none, so our backs were against the wall,” said Burrards head coach Daren Fridge. “But the guys came through and showed they can get it done.”
Eleven Burrards players made it on to the scoresheet as every line helped contribute on offence.
“That helps take some of the pressure of [Curtis] Dickson,” said Fridge.
Dickson has been the primary target of the New West defence so far this series.
“I thought he had one of his strongest games of the series [on Sunday],” Fridge said. “He looked very relaxed and wasn’t trying to do it all.”
Randy Daly led the Burrards in scoring with a pair of goals and a pair of assists. Aaron Pascas, Riley Loewen, and Curtis Dickson each had a pair of goals, while Derek Lowe had one.
Joel Dalgarno and Tyler Miotto each had a trio of assists, while Garrett McIntosh, Creighton Reid, Peter Tellis, and Drew Dickie each had a helper.
The Burrards benefitted from eight powerplays, compared to the Salmonbellies’ five.
“We tried to stay out of the BS,” said Fridge. “They were trying to rattle us, but we didn’t bite for the most part.
“As far as who was starting the shenanigans, it sure wasn’t us, and I think the refs saw that.”
Maple Ridge owned the first two periods of Sunday’s game, and after New West opened the scoring midway through the first, the Burrards answered back with four straight goals.
The Salmonbellies scored three minutes into the second period to draw within two, but three more goals by the Burrards put Maple Ridge ahead by a score of 7-2.
New West scored a pair of goals to close the gap to four before the end of the second period.
The Burrards pulled out to a 9-4 lead early in the third period, only to have New West mount an ultimately unsuccessful comeback attempt as they scored four unanswered goals to finish one goal shy of sending the game to overtime.
Fridge said the third period was a lesson for his team not take their foot off the gas when leading.
“They have a potent offence,” Fridge said. “If you shut one guy down, there are four other guys who can get it done… and they were pressing really hard to tie it.”
Fridge also had plenty of praise for goalie Drew Dickie, who made 35 saves en route to his first postseason victory.
“He started out as out No. 3 guy, but he’s our No. 1 right now,” Fridge said. “I think we did a better job of allowing Drew to see the shots from the areas where he can see the shooter and make the save.”
Dickie also notched an assist for good measure.
The series was to return to Maple Ridge Tuesday night for Game 4 before Game 5 Thursday night in New Westminster and Game 6, if necessary, Friday night back at Planet Ice.
Fridge says with the Burrards first win of the postseason under their belt, the team knows what it needs to do to win.
“We can see how we were successful,” Fridge said. “We tried to avoid going to the penalty box, and our ball movement was much better.”
• Game 5 of the Western Lacrosse Association semi-final playoff series between the Maple Ridge Burrards and the New Westminster Salmonbellies takes place this Friday at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge. Game time is 7:45 p.m.