With a logjam in the Western Lacrosse Association standings, the Maple Ridge Burrards off-ice tangle with the New Westminster Salmonbellies looms large.
A forfeit and an appeal could play havoc with the final standings.
Heading into the weekend, the Nanaimo Tiimbermen were in sixth place with a record of 6-7 and the New Westminster Salmonbellies in second place at 7-6. Only the top four teams get into the playoffs.
The Burrards protested an 11-10 loss at Queens Park, arguing that the ’Bellies had used an ineligible player.
WLA commissioner Ernie Truant agreed with the Burrards, and the win has been credited to the Ridge club in the league standings.
Burrards GM Daren Fridge explained that the backup goaltender dressed for last Thursday’s game was not part of the team’s active roster. The goalie didn’t even have to see the floor for it to be a violation.
“By dressing for the game, he is considered playing,” said Fridge.
Fridge acknowledged the appeal felt “a bit greasy,” but said teams have to be held to their roster limits, and not play whomever will suit up for them.
“The league is tight and competitive.”
That win formed part of a five-game Burrards winning streak that has them in third place, making up for a dismal start that had them in the league cellar.
It also brought New West back to the pack.
On Monday the ’Bellies appealed the commissioner’s decision, and the ruling will come down late in the season.
An appeals board will hear their case on July 22nd at 7 p.m., and render a decision on the critical two points. At that point, the Burrards will have just two games left in the regular-season schedule.