It started in 2007 for Ilija and 2010 for Alex. But for these 2 Gajic brothers, their time with the New Westminster Salmonbellies ended this week with Thursday’s announcement that the ‘Bellies traded the brothers to the Burnaby Lakers. The ‘Bellies get Colton Clark and a second-round pick in next year’s Western Lacrosse Association draft, but they’re also getting the stomachache that comes with balancing what’s best for the team and what’s best for the players who have done so much for that team. “The guys in the room had ample chance the past three or four years,” New West GM Dan Richardson told The Province. “They didn’t get it done. We needed to change the make-up in the room. It was a very, very hard decision to make. We just have to change the ways we are doing things. It’s nothing against Ilija or Alex. They’re great players, great people, they come from a great family. This is business.” READ MORE »
Archive for the ‘Burnaby Lakers’ Category
It’s the end of an era for the New Westminster Salmonbellies. The Bellies have traded away Ilija and Alex Gajic, marking a major break with the roster that had helped them to three straight Western Lacrosse Association titles from 2008-2010. The Bellies, though, have missed the playoffs the last two years and obviously felt it was time for some change. The Gajics, along with New West’s third-round pick, 16th overall, in the 2014 WLA Draft, are headed to the Burnaby Lakers. In return, the Lakers send New Westminster righty forward Colton Clark and their second-round pick, 12th overall, in the 2014 draft.
Clark, 24, was fourth on the Lakers in scoring in 2013 with 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points in 17 games. Over three WLA seasons, his numbers are 49/82/131 in 47 games. READ MORE »
The Whitby Warriors entered the third period of Game 6 of their Ontario Lacrosse Association Junior A final series on the verge of elimination, trailing the Six Nations Arrows 3-2 in the series and 6-4 in the game. They exited the period with a 15-11 win, a Game 7 in the offing and all the momentum in their favour. If you already did the math, you’ve realized that means the Warriors scored an incredible 11 goals in the third period to earn the win.
The swing in fortunes showed just how fickle momentum can be. Six Nations had taken the lead by scoring 3 goals in the final 2:21 of the second period, including one by Josh Johnson with just three seconds to play. But Whitby turned the tide by scoring twice in the first minute of the third and five times by the 3:29 mark. Still, the Arrows didn’t go away and Whitby led by just 1 goal, 11-10, when Randy Staats scored his fourth goal of the game for Six Nations at the 8:02 mark. READ MORE »
Special teams often make the difference in a lacrosse game, but it’s not often that the team giving up 11 power plays takes advantage of those situations for the difference-making goals. That was the case in Burnaby Wednesday night, though. The Victoria Shamrocks surrendered 3 goals to the Lakers on 11 power plays, but they scored 4 shorthanded markers to help them prevail, taking a 2-0 lead in the Western Lacrosse Association semi finals in the process.
Victoria trailed 6-4 after the first period and 8-7 after the second, then Robert Church scored to extend Burnaby’s lead to 2 goals. But the Shamrocks got the next 5 goals, including shorthanders from Jeff Shattler and Jesse King, to produce what would be the winning total of 12 on the night. Church and Jason Jones scored for Burnaby with goalie Dan Lewis pulled for the extra attacker in the final two minutes, but the Lakers couldn’t squeeze one more past Matt Vinc to force overtime. READ MORE »
Last night: Six Nations Arrows take 15-12 overtime win over Whitby Warriors in OLA Jr A finals opener
The Six Nations Arrows scored the only 3 goals of the overtime period to take the first game of the Ontario Junior A lacrosse finals 15-12 over the Whitby Warriors behind 9-point nights from Randy Staats (4g, 5a) and Johnny Powless (3g, 6a). Staats scored what proved to be the winning goal 1:49 into the 10-minute overtime period and Josh Johnson and Shane Simpson added late markers for some insurance as the Arrows took the first step on what they hope is redemption after losing last year’s final to the eventual Minto Cup champion Orangeville Northmen.
Powless told the Brantford Expositor that he and his teammates are drawing on the experience they gained in losing last year’s final and watching the Orangemen celebrate on the Iroquois Lacrosse Association turf. Powless said the Arrows want to make sure there is a different result this year. Six Nations player Wenster Green added that, while they are also happy with how they played in a tough semi final series against the Peterborough Lakers, the Arrows are now thinking about nothing but the Warriors. ”We played really well as a team in the Peterborough series and need to do so again this series, but now that the series with Peterborough is done we have to put it behind us and focus on Whitby,” Green said. READ MORE »
It’s long been talked about that the Western Lacrosse Association is in quite the slump when it comes to the Mann Cup. To be clear, the west hasn’t won a national championships since the 2005 Victoria Shamrocks defeated the Peterborough Lakers in six games. Since then, the Major Series Lacrosse loop has gone on a tear, winning seven straight Manns.
Every year–more specifically, every odd year when the Mann Cup is out west–people begin the talk that this will be the year that the slump ends. Well, the four teams remaining to kick off the WLA post season all have high hopes of lifting the 112-year-old trophy come mid-September. For one of Langley, Victoria, Burnaby and Coquitlam it’s going to take twelve wins to secure a Mann Cup–ironically not one of those teams won twelve games this year.
The playoffs get going tonight on the Island as Victoria welcomes Burnaby to Bear Mountain and then Thursday the Thunder and Adanacs square off in the two best of seven series for the chance to play for the west crown. Let the fun begin as we’re just over a month away from the start of the Mann Cup. So sit back and enjoy some incredible lacrosse.
Travis Cornwall had a 4-goal night including the game winner as the Coquitlam Adanacs downed Burnaby 13-12, denying the Lakers second place in the Western Lacrosse Association. Burnaby led 7-2 after the first period but the Adanacs had a huge second, outscoring Burnaby 10-2 with a pair of 4-goal runs and all 3 of their power play goals in the game. Burnaby worked their way back into a tie at 12-12 with the first 3 goals of the third period, but Cornwall won it for Coquitlam at 15:35. The loss means the Lakers finish third in the WLA and the Victoria Shamrocks will have home-floor advantage in the semi final series between the teams. Coquitlam, meanwhile, gains some momentum as they head into a semi against the first-place Langley Thunder. READ MORE »
The Whitby Warriors are on a roll at the perfect time. They hammered the Brampton Excelsiors for the fourth straight time to sweep their OLA Jr A semi final series. The scores of the games were 14-6, 16-5, 13-6 and, last night, 17-5. Seven Warriors scored 4 or more points, led by master setup man Reilly O’Connor, who had 9 assists. Whitby led 7-2 after the first period and 13-3 after the second then cruised home. The Warriors now have some time to rest and practice while they await the winner of the other semi final, which is proceeding much differently. Six Nations and Peterborough have played three straight close games, with the Arrows taking the first two 7-5 and 9-8 then the Lakers pulling out the third game 8-7 when they scored with just 4 seconds to play. Game 4 in that series is Saturday night in Peterborough. READ MORE »
The playoff picture in the Western Lacrosse Association greatly solidified Friday night as the Victoria Shamrocks clinched a spot and the Burnaby Lakers virtually assured themselves of making the postseason, albeit it very different fashions over a pair of teams fighting for the last spot. The Shamrocks dumped the New Westminster Salmonbellies 15-6 to leave the Bellies in fifth spot, one point behind the Maple Ridge Burrards. The Burrards scored 3 goals in the last minute of their game in Burnaby but it wasn’t quite enough as the Lakers held on for a 10-9 win.
Victoria now sits in second place with 20 points, two behind Langley, while the Lakers have 18. Burnaby’s win gives them the head-to-head tiebreaker over Maple Ridge, who is in fourth place with 14 points and two games remaining. The one wrinkle that makes things a little unclear is that Coquitlam has 11 points with four games remaining and could theoretically create a three-way tie for fourth. That scenario would take a highly unlikely series of events to unfold but is still possible. READ MORE »
With 1,201 points in 399 career games spanning the regular season and playoffs, Russ Heard was a prolific scorer from the right side with the Richmond Outlaws and Burnaby Lakers who ranks among the game’s best. Today, he’s an assistant with the New Westminster Salmonbellies, but his legacy will forever live on in Burnaby after the franchise retired Heard’s No. 9 jersey on July 10.