The Maple Ridge Burrards of the B.C. Intermediate Lacrosse League are provincial champions after thouroughly routing the Richmond Roadrunners 12-6 in the gold-medal game Monday at Planet Ice.
The Burrards exacted some retribution for their only loss in round robin play, when they dropped the opening game Friday 9-8 to the Roadrunners Friday night.
Doug McQuarrie, head coach of the team, said the opening game loss was exactly the motivation his team needed to win the title.
“I’ve never been a fan of going undeafeted in round robin play and making it straight to the finals,” said McQuarrie. “I feel you need that adversity to motivate the team. We knew we had to win the rest of our games and we’ve thrived all season in these tyopes of situations.”
The Burrards and Roadrunners, were joined by the Victoria Shamrocks and the Coquitlam Adanacs at Planet Ice for the provincial crown.
After the opening loss, the Burrads bounced back with a 14-10 win over the Shamrocks on Saturday and a 13-9 decision over the Adanacs on Sunday to set up the rematch with Richmond.
McQuarrie said a complete team effort, led by Connor David in net, made all the difference in the final.
The Burrards only gave up two goals in the final 40 minutes of the game, sealing the victory. McQuarrie said his coaching staff had emphasized conditioning all season and it was evident in their wins against Coquitlam on Sunday and Richmond in the final.
“We came out flying in the second period and they couldn’t handle the pressure. They just crumbled,” said the head coach.
He said his team also fed off the packed house for Monday’s final.
“There wasn’t an empty seat in the house. The energy in there was absolutely incredible,” said McQuarrie.
David, who led the league with the top save percentage at 84.15, was named MVP of the tournament and top goalie at the provincials. He joined teammates Brett Kujala and Jesse Gillespie on the leagues’ all-star team. Kyle Heiling was the provincial’s leading scorer and was named gold medal game MVP.