Salmonbellies close to clinching top spot

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The New Westminster Jr. Salmonbellies need one point from their last two games to clinch first place in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League.

But that’s not a slam dunk considering their opponents will be the second- and third-place teams.

The ’Bellies extended their win streak to 13 games by beating the Burnaby Lakers 12-5 at Bill Copeland Arena on Sunday.

That improved New West’s record to 18-1-0. Their 36 points, however, are just one more than the Coquitlam Adanacs (17-2-1). The two teams will meet in Coquitlam on Wednesday (July 2). New Westminster won both previous meetings between the two. It will be the A’s final game but the Salmonbellies will finish out their season by taking on the Victoria Shamrocks (11-7-1) at Queen’s Park Arena on Sunday, July 6 (5 p.m.).

At Copeland, Nathan Stewart was New West’s top goal scorer with three while Johnny Pearson was their top point producer with two goals and three assists. Josh Byrne had a pair of each. Anthony Malcom also had four points with a goal and three assists while Connor Robinson and Brett Dobray both contributed a goal and two assists. Other New West goals were scored by Steven Ferdinandi and Luke Gillespie.

Robinson remains poised to win the league scoring title (40-59-99). He has an 18-point lead over the next closest competition. Pearson is fourth with 79 points while Byrne is tied for fifth with 71, although he’s collected his points in just 11 games.

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