Joel Dalgarno and Randy Daly each registered hat tricks as the Maple Ridge Burrards thrilled a packed house at Planet Ice’s Cam Neely Arena Sunday night, earning a 9-6 win over the Langley Thunder in their opening game of the Western Lacrosse Association 2011 season.
“I don’t remember the last time we won a home opener, so that was real nice to get for the fans,” said Burrards head coach Daren Fridge.
Dalgarno got the Burrards on the board just 33 seconds into the game with what would be the first of five unanswered goals by Maple Ridge. Sam Cook, Daly and Dalgarno each registered powerplay goals later in the opening frame, while Curtis Dickson scored early in the second to put the Burrards ahead 5-0.
Patrick Saunders got the Thunder on the board two minutes into the second period off a pass by Maple Ridge’s own Jarrett Toll, who registered his first WLA point with Langley.
Daly scored his second of the night a minute later, prompting the Thunder to pull rookie goaltender Brodie MacDonald. The move sparked the Thunder, as they scored a pair of shorthanded goals just minutes later.
One of those goals came from Toll’s stick, as he registered his first WLA goal.
Langley continued to chip away at the Burrards lead, drawing as close as 7-5, but were plagued by penalties.
Thunder players Rob Van Beek and goaltender Joe Bell were each assessed minor penalties with five minutes to play, effectively killing what would have been a Langley powerplay after Burrards forward Pete Tellis received minor penalties for goaltender interference and unsportsmanlike conduct.
That prompted an outburst from Thunder coach Rod Jensen, who was ejected from the game and assessed a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Goals by Curtis Dickson and Dalgarno on the ensuing power play put the game out of reach for Langley, which potted its sixth goal of the night with less than a minute left to play.
Fridge said he was happy with how his team went to work.
“I thought we played methodically, we chipped away and we remained disciplined,” he said. “They have a lot of new players on their team this year, so I expect them to gel better by the next time we see them.”
Rookie goaltender Chris Seidel made the most of his first start in net for the Burrards with 2010 WLA goalie of the year Ron Schibild unavailable for the game. Seidel allowed just six goals on 41 shots for his first win, and was named the Burrards’ player of the game.
“He definitely rose to the occasion,” said Fridge. “They only got six by him, and they had to earn every one of those goals.
Fridge said the team’s defence also did a good job of keeping Langley’s shooters to the outside, enabling Seidel to see his shots.
The Burrards made the most of their many power play opportunities, scoring six goals on 11 chances. Langley, meanwhile, scored on two of their six power play opportunities.
Dalgarno finished with a game-high five points, while Dickson and Daly each had four points. Derek Lowe, Creighton Reid, Tellis, and Jeff Sauve each had assists.
The Burrards are on the road this week as they pay the Coquitlam Adanacs a visit Saturday night before returning home to host the 2010 WLA champions New Westminster Salmonbellies at Planet Ice on Sunday, May 29. Game time is 6:45 p.m.
Thunder pair suspended after fracas with fans
A pair of Langley players were suspended for their part in a dust-up with Burrards fans in the second period of Sunday’s home opener.
WLA commissioner Ernie Truant said a pair of possibly intoxicated fans were harassing Langley Thunder players Steve Van Beek and Steve Hay while they were sitting in the penalty box.
That prompted Van Beek to reach over the penalty box glass and swing his stick at the fans, while Hay left the penalty box through its side door and confronted them directly.
“A fan has a right to say what they want, as long as they don’t enter the playing area,” said Truant. “A player doesn’t have a right to leave the arena and engage the fans like that.”
Hay was given a four game suspension by the WLA on Monday, while Van Beek was handed a two game suspension. Langley Thunder coach Rod Jensen, meanwhile, was assessed a $150 fine.
“The players overreacted,” said Truant. “That’s not something we want to see.”
Burrards seventh in national rankings
The Maple Ridge Burrards are back in seventh place on the LacrosseTalk weekly national senior mens lacrosse rankings.
The Burrards fell out of the rankings last week prior to their first game of the season, but returned to seventh place with their 9-6 win over the Langley Thunder on Sunday.
The Burrards are the fourth-ranked team from the Western Lacrosse Association on the list, behind the New Westminster Salmonbellies (No. 2, 0-0-1), Coquitlam Adanacs (No. 4, 1-0-0), and the Victoria Shamrocks (No. 5, 0-0-1).