’Bellies, A's play first-place leapfrog

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The New Westminster Jr. Salmonbellies and Coquitlam Adanacs played first-place leapfrog this week in advance of their big showdown next week.

The Salmonbellies took over top spot in the B.C. Junior Lacrosse League by pounding the Port Coquitlam Saints 20-5 at Queen's Park Arena on Tuesday. It was their seventh consecutive victory and gave them a 12-1-0 record as well as a one-point lead over the Adanacs. But the next night the A's jumped right back over them by downing third-place Delta Islanders 14-10 to improve to 12-1-1.

New Westminster has outscored its opposition 61-12 in the last three games. They will tangle with the Islanders (9-7-0) at Sungod Arena in North Delta on Saturday before going to Coquitlam to take on the A's on Wednesday.

The Salmonbellies will also play in Burnaby on Thursday. Their next home game is against the Langley Thunder (3-11-1) Tuesday, June 24, 8 p.m.

New West native Josh Byrne continued to shine upon his return to the Royal City from his freshmen season at ASA College in New York. Against PoCo, Byrne scored three times and assisted on four others to give him 32 points, including 17 goals, in four games.

Luke Gillespie had four goals while Anthony Malcom racked up six assists. Connor Robinson, Josh McLaughlin and Johnny Pearson all scored twice. Singles went to Alex Bohl, Reese Robinson, Jeremy Bosher, Chris Nasato, Nathan Stewart, Javier Tudela and Justin Goodwin.

Connor Robinson also notched two assists to give him a league-leading 68 points (29-39) in 13 games, 11 more than anyone else in the BCJLL.

New West outshot PoCo 62-46. ’Bellies backstop Ross Bowman stopped 38 of 42 shots he faced while Michael Flintoff saved three of the four that came his way in the final five minutes of the game.

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