There would be no overtime hero for the Langley Thunder on Wednesday night.
For the second straight game, the team found itself playing in sudden-death three-on-three overtime, but this time it would be the opposition Nanaimo Timbermen scoring the decisive goal, earning a 10-9 victory in Western Lacrosse Association action at Langley Events Centre.
Langley’s record slips to 11-3 and 22 points with four games to play – tied for top spot with the New Westminster Salmonbellies although the ‘Bellies hold a game in hand – while Nanaimo sits in third place at 9-4 and 18 points. The Timbermen also hold a game in hand on the Thunder. Nathan Grenon had tied the game at nine with 28.1 seconds to play – the Timbermen’s initial shot was stopped by Nanaimo was able to gather the rebound and earn another possession – but Langley would have two possessions to win the game.
The first opportunity came at the end of regulation as the Thunder won the ensuing faceoff and called timeout but could not get a clean shot on goal. In overtime, Langley again took possession of the opening faceoff, but could not get a shot on net, with Nanaimo forcing a turnover and Ethan Ticehurst running the ball down the floor and beating goaltender Frank Scigliano in a one-on-one showdown for the game winner.
The game was back-and-forth with the teams tied on seven different occasions and only one two-goal advantage (the Timbermen led 2-0). Altogether, Nanaimo scored eight of their 10 goals – four two-goal spurts – in a combined span of 3:13 of game action. The remaining 57:40 saw them score just twice. “A lot of missed assignments which ended up in our net. At the end there, we got scrambled around and vacated out of the middle on the 6-on-5, that should have been locked down,” said Langley coach Curt Malawsky. “The season is for learning lessons and hopefully we learned some tonight and carry them
Nanaimo led 5-4 after one period before Langley took a 7-6 lead after 40 minutes.
“It was a typical MO of how we play, and their goalie was good too,” Malawsky said, referencing Timbermen goalie Devlin Shanahan, who finished with 43 saves.
Frank Scigliano stopped 46 in the Langley net as the Thunder were outshot 56-52, including 22-16 in the third period and overtime.
“We had some good looks. It is just a game of momentum, and they had the last shot and they win. Well deserved for (Nanaimo).”
Langley was without leading scorer Robert Church and captain Connor Robinson for the game and then lost Dylan Kinnear in the first period.
“Missing a few guys but at the end of the day you can’t use that as an excuse. It has to be the next man up mentality,” said the Thunder’s Curtis Dickson, the game’s third star with a goal and four assists. “We battled hard, it’s not due to a lack of effort, like Coach told us in the locker room afterward. We just kind of let it slip away from us there at the end. We have to figure out how to finish these ones.” Langley’s Chase Scanlan (2+3) matched Dickson’s five points and was the first star of the game while Dane Dobbie had a pair of goals and four points. Nathaniel Kozevnikov (1+2), Clay Scanlan (1+1), Jake Bowen (1+0) and Tristan Kirkham (1+0) also found the back of the net.
Kirkham was called up for the game from Senior B and despite usually focusing on offence, played primarily on defence. He was also the team’s main face-off option and did well on the draws, going 12-5. For Nanaimo, Grenon and Ryan Sheridan scored two goals apiece with Zach Manns, Jon Phillips and Taggart Clark each having a goal and two assists.
The season series between the two teams is now tied at one with the third and final meeting set for July 23 in Nanaimo. But before that game, the Thunder are back in action on July 18 with a visit to Coquitlam to face the Adanacs. The team’s next home game is the following night (July 19) when they host the Maple Ridge Burrards at Langley Events Centre. Both games have 7:30pm start times.