A pre-game walk through on the outdoor basketball court paid dividends for the Shooting Eagles Lacrosse Club.
“We went and did a walk through and make sure our heads are in the right state of mind and happy and excited and wanting to come out with some positive energy and then that translated into guys going down and finishing checks and putting effort in and the forecheck was finally there and the extra pass on offence came back and communicating on defence,” explained coach Adam Smith.
Tied at five at the half, the Shooting Eagles scored six of the next seven goals to take control in what turned out to be a 15-11 victory over the Black Fish Lacrosse Club in week six action of the Arena Lacrosse League West Division. The game was played at Langley Events Centre on Sunday afternoon.
The Shooting Eagles were led by the trio of Jake Foster (three goals, four assists), Ryan Martel (threegoals, three assists) and Dean Fairall (four goals, one assist) combined for 18 points. Dylan Laprade (two goals, two assists), Justin Digby (two goals) and Declan Fitzpatrick (one goal) rounded out the scoring while Garrett Winter set up four goals.
Goaltender Andrew Gallant was named first star following his 50-save performance as his team was outshot 62-48 as he was in goal for all about 13 seconds, coming to the bench briefly before re-entering the game. Afterwards, Gallant was complimentary of his teammates. “Amazing defence, they made it easier for me,” he said. “The defence played well and our offence was transitioning back. We have been working on that and our systems on defence worked, getting pressure and not many shots inside,” he said.
The Black Fish were led by Greg Lunde – who was picked up in a multi-player deal with the Shooting Eagles earlier in the week – who had two goals and six points while Ryan Jones and Jon Phillips each had two goals and five points. Evan Messenger finished with two goals and two assists while Chase McIntyre Isaac Bot and Laszlo Henning scored once apiece.
Torin Van Rheenen (22 saves on 31 shots) and Matt Hiebert (11 saves on 17 shots) manned the goal for the Black Fish.
The Shooting Eagles were coming off an overtime loss the week before in a game where they surrendered the final seven goals and three of their four losses on the season have come by a single goal. “The guys are excited and happy. It turns it from this being a job to having fun again because you get this boost of energy,” Smith said. “This is just the start … like coach said, get on a run for the playoffs and peak at the end,” Gallant added.
Week seven sees the Grizzlies (4-2) against the Black Fish (1-5) on Saturday, January 29 at 1:00pm while the Sea Spray (5-1) are up against the Shooting Eagles (2-4) later that day at 4:00pm.