The Maple Ridge Burrards still have their sights set on first place in the Western Lacrosse Association, with just three games and five days left in the regular season.
The Burrards are coming off a 13-11 loss to the Victoria Shamrocks last Sunday at Cam Neely Arena.
“Our offence looked really good, but there were a couple times we were suspect defensively,” said head coach Rob Williams. “They (the Shamrocks) have turned it up.”
That loss ended a three-game winning streak that had seen the Burrards playing well, he said.
The result left five teams knotted with 18 points in the standings, and the Shamrocks in first place by virtue of having played one less game. They are 9-5, while Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, New Westminster and Burnaby are all 9-6.
On paper, the Burrards have an easy schedule left. They are in Coquitlam to face the Adanacs (3-12) on Saturday, host Nanaimo on Sunday, and then finish the season against the Langley Thunder (4-11) on Tuesday.
Coquitlam and Langley have both traded away their star players for the balance of the season to contending teams, but Williams is not taking them lightly. His approach is that everyone on a WLA roster can play.
“You get a bunch of guys who come in and work really hard, and sometimes that’s all you need,” he said.
The Burrards could still miss the playoffs.
Still, Williams anticipates that his team, which is loaded with some of the top veteran talents in the game, will take care of business.
“They should come ready to play,” he said. “It’s already playoffs, essentially.”
Against the Shamrocks it was Curtis Dickson leading the offence with three goals and and three assists, while Dane Dobbie scored three goals and two assists. Their teammate with the NLL Calgary Roughnecks Dan Taylor also scored.
The coach said the offence is meshing well, and the players are familiar with each other
“There’s some chemistry there, no doubt about it,” said Williams. “Dobbie could play with anyone with his talent and his lacrosse IQ.”
He said Wes Berg also had a strong game, and he put up a goal and three assists, and was named the game’s second star.
The first star was Jesse King, who scored the game winner for Victoria, and finished with two goals and five points.
Victoria jumped out to a 7-3 lead, and chased goaltender Christian Del Bianco, who is a Burrard for the balance of the season, out of the net after he allowed seven goals and 18 shots.
Frankie Scigliano came in and stabilized the crease, giving up five goals on 29 shots the rest of the way. Ridge stormed back, and held a 11-10 lead with five minutes left to play, but Victoria got two quick goals and an empty netter to steal a win.
• Sunday’s game goes at 6 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.