Just because the Langley Thunder sat silent for the first 3 rounds of the recent Western Lacrosse Association doesn’t mean they settled for anything. GM Rob Buchan was quite surprised, and pleased, to land some solid picks in Quinn Smith (No. 22 overall from New Westminster) and Adam Will (Langley), a couple of players Buchan believes will be able to contribute right away. “I had him pegged as a 14 or 15 (pick overall) so to get him at 22, so we were real happy with that,” Buchan told the Langley Times of Smith. “Same with Adam Will — we got him at 29 (fifth round) — and he is a good two-way player and we thought he could have gone much earlier.” The Thunder, who have won the last 2 WLA regular-season titles, will begin defense of that title when they open their season on the road against Coquitlam on Saturday, May 17.
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After last weekend’s B.C. Jr. A Lacrosse League draft, the eight junior teams stacked up their rosters for the 2014 season and started the process of moving on without their graduating players. Now it’s time to see where many of those 1992 born players will end up for the upcoming Western Lacrosse Association season as the WLA draft will take place at Langley Events Centre on Thursday, February 6. The Coquitlam Adanacs hold the first overall pick in this years draft and they have numerous options moving forward into 2014. The A’s also hold the fourth overall pick so they will be adding two top level rookies to the roster. The talent pool is very top heavy with this year’s draft class but with 2014 being an eastern Mann Cup year, it could very well be a year for some of these top prospects to make a real impact. READ MORE »
The Langley Thunder played for the last 2 Mann Cups and came up short both times. So when they loaded their roster this summer with the likes of Mark Matthews, Dane Dobbie, Adam Jones, Nick Rose and Damon Edwards, it looked a third straight trip was in order. The Victoria Shamrocks had something to say about that, however, and their 4-2 series win over the Thunder did all the talking. “The fat lady has sung,” Thunder coach Rod Jensen told The Langley Advance. “Give Victoria credit. From (my view on) the bench, they looked like they had the energy we had a couple of years ago. We just couldn’t pull it together. They (the Shamrocks) closed it out like champions do.” And so the Thunder will have a year to regroup and focus its efforts on a return trip but as strong as the roster was in 2013, not everyone will be back so changes are in store for 2014, said Jensen. “We’ll have to revamp a little bit,” he said. “We have to be a little more gritty and athletic up front.”
The Victoria Shamrocks were not shy about their intentions before the 2013 season even started: They were gearing up for a run at the Mann Cup. And now, they get their chance. The Shamrocks put on a defensive clinic against a stacked Langley Thunder lineup and came away with an 8-3 win last night (box score), clinching the Western Lacrosse Association championship in 6 games. The back-end effort was a continuation of what they’ve been able to do in this series, and that is to put the clamps on an offense in Langley had featured the likes of Mark Matthews, Adam Jones, Garrett Billings and Athan Iannucci. Last night marked the second time in 3 games that the Thunder were held to 3 goals, and now the Shamrocks will test their defensive fortitude against a Six Nations team that has no shortage of snipers. READ MORE »
It could be the clinching game in the Western Lacrosse Association finals and the harbinger of a Mann Cup coming to town. It could also be the last lacrosse game played in the Victoria area this summer. It sounds like a full house worth of fans will be on hand hoping to provide the boost the Victoria Shamrocks need to get over the hump and finish off the Langley Thunder to win the WLA championship 4-2, obviating the need to go back Langley for Game 7. CTV News Vancouver Island talked to Victoria Head Coach Bob Heyes and Shamrocks’ goalie Matt Vinc at practice. See what they had to say before the big game: just follow this link to the video.
Brett Mydske was a bit of a surprise inclusion on Canada’s team for the 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships. He was a young player who hadn’t had the time in the top leagues to establish a reputation as a top defender. As of Monday afternoon, though, the Langley Thunder standout is now the back-to-back winner of the Western Lacrosse Association’s defender of the year award, after having been named the league’s unsung hero in 2011. It’s probably safe to say that people realize how good he is now. The 6-4, 205-pounder told the Langley Times that he was honoured to receive the award, but also a bit surprised, given that he was playing more on offence towards the end of the season and has continued to do so in the playoffs. That’s given him a chance to prove his all around game, as Mydske has scored 7 goals in nine playoff games for the Thunder.
It’s not often that 4 goals will win a lacrosse game, but that was enough for the Victoria Shamrocks last night. Scott Ranger scored the only goal of the overtime period to give them a 4-3 win over the Langley Thunder, evening up the Western Lacrosse Association finals at two games each. The lack of scoring wasn’t for a lack of shots, as the Shamrocks outshot the Thunder 61-50 in the game, but Brodie MacDonald made 57 saves and Matt Vinc 47 to keep the goal totals down. Cory Conway opened the scoring for Victoria but Langley responded with a pair from Brett Mydske and Alex Turner to lead 2-1 after the first period. Each team scored just once in the second period, with Mydske and Conway connecting again. Rhys Duch’s power play goal at 5:55 was the only marker of the third period, setting the stage for the extra frame. Conway and Matt Yager set up Ranger for the overtime goal that came at 2:09 and the Shamrocks held on the rest of the way to keep the series alternating wins at each team’s home arena. READ MORE »
Once again, the Six Nations Chiefs controlled the first and third periods to take a solid win over the Brooklin Redmen in the Major Series Lacrosse championship series. This time it was an 11-5 win in Brooklin that gives them a 2-0 lead in the series. The Chiefs reined in the Redmen’s potent transition game in the first period and goalie Evan Kirk was impeccable in the Chiefs net as Six Nations took a 4-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. Brooklin rebounded, got their running game going and outscored the Chiefs 4-1 in the second period to pull within a goal. They had a chance to do even more damage when Sid Smith was given a 5-minute slashing major with 4:10 to go in the period, but the Six Nations penalty killers stepped up and killed the penalty. READ MORE »
The Victoria Shamrocks looked to be in trouble. They had lost the first game of the Western Lacrosse Association finals and trailed the Langley Thunder 4-1 after the first period of Game 2. Then they turned it all around. The Shamrocks evened the game up with a 4-1 second period then dominated the third 5-1 to take a 10-6 win and even the best-of-seven series at a game apiece. They did it with goals from nine different players and the only multiple goal-scorer being defender Scott Carnegie. Jeff Shattler produced a game-high 4 points from 1 goal and 3 assists while another defender, Dan MaCrae, chipped in 3 assists and fought Matt Leveque at the closing buzzer. Garrett Billings was the only Langley player to score more than a single point, as he had a goal and 2 assists. READ MORE »
The St. Catharines Saints are heading to their third straight Presidents Cup after sweeping aside the Six Nations Rivermen 3-0 in the Ontario Senior B finals, finishing the series off with a 10-9 come-from-behind win in St. Catharines last night. The Saints, in their third year in the OLA Sr B league, won their third straight league championship. They have won bronze and silver medals at the Presidents Cup the last two years and are now hoping to complete their climb up the podium at the tournament in Kahnawake, Quebec starting August 26.
Out west, the Langley Thunder completed a sweep of the Coquitlam Adanacs in the Western Lacrosse Association semi finals with an 11-9 win in Coquitlam. The powerful Thunder lineup is coming together as the playoffs progress and they are also hoping to take one step further up the ladder of Canadian lacrosse rankings. Langley lost to the Peterborough Lakers four games to two in last year’s Mann Cup in Peterborough. They’ve pulled together a remarkable lineup with the goal of winning the west’s first Mann Cup since the Victoria Shamrocks in 2005. Langley is likely to face the Shamrocks in the WLA finals, as Victoria holds a 3-0 lead over the Burnaby Lakers in the other semi final. READ MORE »