Lack of sleep, and a few more gray hairs — the plight of the General Manager. The July 1 BCJALL trade deadline came and went this week and more than a few GMs lost sleep as a handful of big deals were made to round out some rosters heading into the post season. The New Westminster Salmonbellies, who kicked things off with a blockbuster to acquire the league’s top two goal scorers in Cody Nass and Eli McLaughlin from Delta earlier in the week weren’t the only buyers on the market. With the deadline ticking away, cross-town rivals Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam swung arguably the biggest deal of the day when the Saints sent their two leading goal scorers — Matt Delmonico (30 goals) and Tyler Pace (22 goals), along with Mitch Milani — to the Adanacs in exchange for the junior ‘A’ playing rights of Andrew Gallant.
Delmonico and Pace do not have the numbers that Nass and McLaughlin took over to New West, but the PoCo boys both have more goals than Coquitlam’s leading goal scorer, Steven Nuefeld at 21. Delmonico also has an intangible that Nass and McLachlan both lack — experience. Delmonico is a graduating player who has been to the post season before and will be that much more ravenous in his quest to win a Minto Cup in the final two months of his junior lacrosse career.
Another major move involving the A’s saw them acquire well-worked goaltender Peter Dubenski and a second-round draft pick in 2015 from the Nanaimo Timbermen in exchange for a first-round pick in 2014 and future considerations. The 5’11’’, 210-pounder has been the busiest goaltender on the West Coast so far this year facing 890 shots in 933 minutes of action in Nanaimo.
The Delta Islanders hoped to land Dubenski and Nanaimo’s leading scorer Mitch Parker together for the second straight season, and became sellers once the deal fell through and they couldn’t bolster their roster.
“Getting Dubenski was at the top of our list,” Islanders coach Shaun Springett told the Delta Optimist. “The goalies we do have have done a good job for us but without an elite goaltender and the same depth on defence we had a year ago, we are a little more suspect on the back end. We should be the best team in the league next season but we need to look after our future too and (GM Davidson) Bruce did that with this trade.”
In addition to the blockbuster last week, the Isles also traded one of the league’s best defenders to the Langley Thunder. Danny McDermott played for Team Canada at the U-19 World Field Lacrosse Championships last spring in Turku, and currently plays NCAA Div. II for NYIT. In exchange the Islanders receive Chase Fraser.
The Thunder, currently plagued by injuries to McDermott’s Team Canada teammate Reegan Comeault, ROTY candidate Johnny Pearson, and standout defenders Zack Porter and Nathan Henare, were in search of some secondary depth at both ends of the floor. Langley acquired Ryan Watson from Burnaby in exchange for a third-round pick in 2014. Watson scored a hat trick and 2 assists in his Thunder debut earlier this week after scoring just 1 goal in 5 games with Burnaby this season. The graduating player is a New West native that attends ASA College in Brooklyn, NY. He scored 10 points in the 2012 playoffs as a rental player for the Delta Islanders.
The Thunder also picked up Quinton Bradley from the Lakers for a second-round 2014 pick and future considerations. Despite the tidal wave of trades at the deadline, the biggest story of the day might be the players who were not moved. Nanaimo’s trifecta of Mitch Parker, Corey Shires and Brett Hawrys — all among the top 25 league scoring leaders — stayed put on the island with their abysmal 2-16-1 record.
“At this point we’re a little bit hooped in terms of playoffs, but it’s pride now,” Nanaimo captain Brett Fleming told the Nanaimo Bulletin. “We’ve got to go in with the mindset that if we can end the year with some sort of a winning streak then we can bring that into next season.”
The Victoria Shamrocks meanwhile picked up the first-year, pass-first, Justin Appels from the Burnaby Lakers in exchange for a third-round pick in 2014. Appels’ 11 goals and 31 points were second best in Burnaby.
And before the day was done, the A’s also grabbed Tyler Buchan from the Burnaby Lakers in exchange for a second-round pick in 2014 and the playing rights to Shawn Hanley. Buchan, a 5’9” lefty, had 28 points in 9 games for Burnaby after returning his sophomore season at Wheeling Jesuit University. He has one more season left of junior eligibility.
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“Hopefully everybody will be back and healthy come playoff time.” The Langley Thunder, severely stricken by the injury bug to key players are still playing great lacrosse which is a nice sign for coach Jake Elliott. They squeaked out a 14-13 win against the Victoria Shamrocks just nights after literally fighting the Coquitam Adanacs at the Palace on Poirier. “I thought we played hard. They (the Adanacs) are a good team and that was their best lineup, and that was far from our best, so I was pretty happy with our first 40 minutes,” said Elliott, whose Thunder will likely finish 3rd and face PoCo in round one of the playoffs. (Langley Advance) … They may not look like the Adanacs of old, but it looks like Coquitlam will lock up first place for the sixth straight season. This time they’re doing it without a scoring champ. Marty Dinsdale, Robert Church and Wes Berg have all led the BCJALL in points while their A’s locked up first place. In 2011 for example, 3 Adanacs finished in the top 3 in league scoring. This year, there are only 3 A’s in the Top 25. It’s obvious that a well-rounded, balanced attack has been the key to success this season. Any player can step up on any given night. (Coquitlam Now) … This year it is likely 3 Salmonbellies that will finish 1-2-3 in league scoring with rookie Josh Byrne joining newly acquired Cody Nass and Eli McLaughlin at the top of the charts. Put the goal scoring accolades aside though. Every player will always tell you they would much rather have a Minto Cup than a scoring title. “We have to win our way in. We’re pretty excited to add players like that and to have the depth now,” said coach Dan Perreault. (Royal City Record).Challoner is a prominent voice of lacrosse on the West Coast. Color Commentator for the Vancouver Stealth on the Lacrosse Network, he also calls play-by-play for the WLA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @BradChall Twitter @laxcaster
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