The Maple Ridge Burrards took a lead of two games to one in their best-of-seven playoff series with the Burnaby Lakers.
Game four will be held Tuesday night Maple Ridge, at 7:45 p.m. at Planet Ice.
Burnaby took the first game 10-5. The Burrards bounced back with a home win, 11-4 in a fight-filled affair on Saturday, and then took the series lead with a 9-6 victory on Monday night in Burnaby.
Game five will be played on Thursday in Burnaby, and the series returns to Planet Ice for game six, if necessary, on Saturday night at 7:45 p.m.
Game three was tight. The Burrards nursed a one-goal lead into the third period, until Mitchell Bannister scored an insurance goal, and Aaron Davis put the game out of reach with an empty netter in the last minute.
“It can go either way,” said coach Chris Gill, “a mistake or a penalty, or an undisciplined play can cost you.”
He said Burnaby goaltender Tyler Richards held his team in the game on Monday, stopping Burrard shooters on numerous great looks at the net.
But Burrards rookie Frankie Scigliano was even better between the pipes, with 32 saves on 38 shots.
“He played excellent, but our defence played really good, and that makes it easier for Frankie,” said Gill.
Scigliano also made 27 saves on 31 shots in the game two win.
The Burrards are getting offensive contributions from throughout the lineup. On Monday, Pitt Meadows boy Mike Mallory and Ben McIntosh led the scoring with a goal and two assists each.
In Saturday’s fight night, which Ridge won 11-4, Jarrett Davis led the way with two goals and five assists for seven points, and Riley Loewen had two goals and three assists.
“It’s hard for a team to shut down six players,” said Gill.
The focal point of the offence in recent years has been Curtis Dickson, last year’s WLA scoring champion, but he has missed most of this season due to commitments with the Canadian field lacrosse national team, and more recently due to injury. He was going to take warmup on Tuesday night, and is set to return soon. Dickson lit up Burnaby for six points in the regular season, so they won’t be happy to see him in the lineup.
Both clubs were fined $1,000 by WLA commissioner Casey Cook for the game two fracas, that saw six players on each team ejected, 143 minutes in penalties to Maple Ridge and 134 penalty minutes assessed to Burnaby.
Cook wrote that the fine was levied because the teams didn’t control their players, the safety of the players was compromised, and image and integrity of the WLA had to be considered.
Goalie Richards got a one-game suspension for cross checking Colton Porter in the head in the first game.
First-place Victoria has jumped out to a 3-0 lead on fourth-place New Westminster in the other WLA semi-final series.