The Ridge Meadows Burrards got their first win of the season on Sunday, shutting down the Burnaby Lakers 9-5 at home.
With just three points to show for nine games this season, the team’s first win came far later in the season than head coach Daren Fridge would have liked, but he’s just happy to have the monkey off his back.
“It’s been a rough start,” admitted Fridge. “But what we learned Sunday night is that we can’t count on any one individual. Everyone has to contribute, that’s how we’re going to win games.”
The Burrards opened up an 8-2 lead in the second period thanks to seven goals from six different players. In all, 11 Maple Ridge players made it on the scoresheet.
Randy Daly was the only Burrard to score twice, and added a pair of assists for a game-high four points. Tyler Codron, Simon Giourmetakis, Creighton Reid, Derek Lowe, Colton Porter. Riley Loewen, and Dayne Michaud each found the back of the net.
The Burrards will need all hands on deck if they want to salvage their season and vie for a playoff spot, which will be difficult, considering the team hasn’t played with anything close to a full lineup all season. Last season’s top scorer, Curtis Dickson, is still out with an injured shoulder, and his return is anyone’s guess, said Fridge.
Starting goaltender Chris Seidel left the team last week to pursue work interests in California, while the team has been without the services of high-scoring attacker Joel Dalgarno for the entirety of this season due to work commitments.
Forward Aaron Pascas missed this past weekend’s games after being involved in a car accident, and Daniel Amesbury is still out with a broken hand.
But there’s reason to be optimistic about the second half of the WLA season, said Fridge.
Defensive stalwart Creighton Reid returned to action this past weekend, providing some much-needed stability to the team’s back-end, while back-up goalie Drew Dickie proved he has what it takes to win, stopping 34 of 39 shots Sunday night.
The Burrards second half schedule features six games against Nanaimo, New Westminster, and Coquitlam, the three teams they are chasing for playoff spot.
Fridge said he is reminded of the B.C. Lions, who started the 2011 Canadian Football League season 1-6, before finishing 11-7, and went on to win the Grey Cup.
“We’ve been in a lot of these games, and all it takes is three wins and we’re back in the mix,” he said. “I know we haven’t had much luck… but it’s up to me to coach our way out of this.”
The Burrards play in Langley Wednesday, then host the Nanaimo Timbermen on Sunday, 6:45 p.m.