The Western Lacrosse Association playoff race comes down to tonight’s final game of the regular season and after being full of variables for ages it’s now simple. If New Westminster beats last-place Maple Ridge tonight, they’re in. If they lose or tie, they’re out. Burnaby put the Salmonbellies in that win-or-else situation by beating the Coquitlam Adanacs 8-5 last night. That put the Lakers two points up on New West and into a third-place tie with Coquitlam in the standings. Since the first tie-breaker is number of wins, Burnaby will be the odd man out if there’s a three-way tie for third. They earned their 20 points on nine wins and two ties. The Adanacs have 10 wins and if New West can down the Burrards tonight, they’ll also have 10.
Three different players had five-point nights to lead the Lakers last night. Dane Stevens had a hat trick and two assists; Colton Clark and Scott Jones each scored twice and added three helpers. Burnaby blanked Coquitlam 3-0 in the first period and managed to maintain that lead for the final buzzer. Ryan Johnson scored three goals and an assist for the Adanacs. Daryl Veltman added two and one.
In last night’s other WLA game, Victoria clinched second place and home-floor advantage in the first round of playoffs with a 14-10 win over Nanaimo. Mike Pires’ hat trick and one assist led the way for the Shamrocks. Karsen Leung and Jeff Shattler contributed five-point nights, each scoring once and adding four assists. Corey Small, Michael Teeter and Derek Lowe all scored a pair for Victoria. Cody Bremner, Graham Palmer and Ryan Keith each scored twice for the Timbermen, who finish fifth in the league.
In the BCJALL semi-finals, the Delta Islanders continued their breakout season by beating the New Westminster Salmonbellies 11-10 in the deciding game of their best-of-five series. Logan Schuss continued his outstanding play, scoring three goals and five assists. Mike Mallory had four goals and two assists and Eli McLaughlin two goals and four helpers. Delta moves on to face Coquitlam for the west’s berth in the Minto Cup. The Adanacs swept Langley in the other semi.
Delta 11, New Westminster 10 (box score)
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