A 5-2 start to last summer’s Western Lacrosse Association season had the Maple Ridge Burrards flying high. But a 3-8 stumble down the stretch brought them back down to earth, and out of the playoffs. And since defense appears to be the culprit of that slide, the Burrards were more than thrilled when goalie Frankie Scigliano was still available when the draft got to the No. 3 overall pick, which belonged to Maple Ridge. “Frankie was left for us, and that’s one position you want to have security at, for 10 or 15 years,” new Maple Ridge coach Chris Gill told the Maple Ridge News. The Burrards also added to their defensive depth with the selection of Delta Islanders defenseman Danny McDermott, who Gill said was a strong stay-at-home defender who adds size to the back end. Maple Ridge opens its 2014 WLA season at home against Nanaimo on Sunday, May 18.
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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 »
There’s been an off-season trade in the Western Lacrosse Association. The Coquitlam Adanacs have acquired Jaeden Gastaldo from the Maple Ridge Burrards in exchange for Travis Irving and a fourth-round pick in the 2015 WLA draft, according to the WLA’s web site. Gastaldo was a second-round pick by the Burrards in the 2013 draft and posted five points in 17 games with Maple Ridge as a rookie. The transition player also had a strong freshman season with the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League. Irving was selected by Coquitlam in the second round of the 2012 draft and has played a total of 25 games for the Adanacs in two seasons. Coquitlam finished fourth in the league in 2013 before falling to Langley in the opening round of the playoffs. Maple Ridge had a tremendous start to the season before faltering down the stretch to miss out on the post-season.
The Maple Ridge Burrards are hoping Chris Gill’s success as a player will translate into success as a coach. The Burrards have brought in Gill as their new head coach, taking over from Darren Fridge, who retains the general manager half of his role with the team. Gill told the Maple Ridge News that he likes the look of his team. “They’ve had a good team the last few years, they have drafted well. The pieces are in place, player-wise,” he told the paper. He’s hoping those pieces can gel to help the team improve on its up and down season from 2013, which saw the club open with a 4-1 streak then suffer through a 4-9 run to close the season on the outside of the playoffs looking in. Gill said he’s excited about taking over a team on the rise. “A hundred per cent – you don’t want to go to a team that is on its last legs. You want a team that’s young and eager and wants to win. If you want to coach in this league, this is where you want to be. I’m excited to be part of the team, and we’re looking at taking a run at the Mann Cup this year, and for the next 10 years.”
The Maple Ridge Burrards are pleased to announce that Chris Gill has been appointed as the new coach for the 2014 season. As a player in the Western Lacrosse Association, Gill accumulated 482 goals and 351 assists in 282 games over 13 seasons. Gill’s teams made the playoffs nine times and he was a Mann Cup Finalist on two occasions. Chris also had a decorated NLL career with stops in Baltimore, Toronto, Vancouver, Colorado, Edmonton and Calgary. Along the way, Chris raised the Champion’s Cup three times and he recorded 557 points in 173 career NLL games, retiring from the NLL in 2010. “Chris’ craftiness around the crease will now transfer in his role as head coach. He interviewed very well and has some very creative plans to address some of our challenges from last season,” said Daren Fridge, Burrards General Manager. “We were looking for a dynamic leader with valuable experience at the highest level of lacrosse and Chris is exactly what we are seeking.”
Expectations were high for the Maple Ridge Burrards in 2013. They did not meet those expectations and it cost coach Daren Fridge his job. “I understand the decision,” Fridge told The Maple Ridge News. “We didn’t get the results we wanted.” After a 4-13-1 season in 2012, the Burrards were excited about their young offense in 2013 and they had every right to be. The Burrards scored 184 goals, second-most in the Western Lacrosse Association. A 5-2 start hyped the excitement, but the team was 3-8 down the stretch and the 189 goals-allowed were second-most in the loop. In that 11-game slide to end the season, Maple Ridge lost 4 goals by 1 goal and they finished the season with an 8-10 record and out of the playoffs for a second straight summer. Fridge will stay with the team as general manager and help with the search for a new coach.
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 »
Haven’t seen one of these for a while, but the Maple Ridge Burrards and Nanaimo Timbermen threw down in a big way last Sunday with a bench-clearing brawl. It all went down in OT, so you know tensions were high to begin with. The vid starts with a mad rush in the middle of the floor before we see some separate dances; one off to the right and then another off to the left. The numbers on the sweaters don’t match the scoresheet penalties at Pointstreak, so we’re not gonna give up any names lest we implicate the wrong fellas. But no matter who is doing what, it’ll be an interesting game on Saturday when these teams meet again, this time in Nanaimo.
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 »
All seven teams in the Western Lacrosse Association are still alive as we round the final quarter pole of this sprint to the finish. Langley and Victoria still stand atop the mountain, however the two teams are painting different landscapes as everyone battles for the right to host the 2013 Mann Cup. Langley has won three straight and is looking much like the team that has won the past two WLA titles. Conversely, the Shamrocks seem to be struggling with the newest additions and play a perfect Jekyll and Hyde. They will play smash mouth lacrosse Friday night in Victoria, which could be a WLA finals preview and will be a great measuring stick for both teams. READ MORE »