Salmonbellies beat A's in Game 1 of final
Four goals to start the second period propelled the New Westminster Salmonbellies to victory in the first game of the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League final.
The ’Bellies defeated the Coquitlam Adanacs 13-8 at Queen's Park Arena Wednesday to take Game 1 in the best-of-seven series.
Coquitlam had gone into the second period holding a 4-3 lead but New West responded with four goals in less than three minutes, including a natural hat trick by New West native Josh Byrne, to go ahead 7-4. The Salmonbellies went onto outscore the Adanacs 6-2 in the third period with the final goal coming from New West netminder Ross Bowman into an empty net with 2:01 remaining.
Byrne also scored the game's first goal and had an assist. Brett Dobray scored three goals and three assists while Anthony Malcom had two goals and three helpers. Alex Bohl also scored a pair with Mitch MacAulay getting the other goal.
Bowman made 33 saves for the victory.
Eli McLaughlin socred three goals for Coquitlam. McLaughlin was acquired by the ’Bellies for last year's playoff run and then returned him to the Delta Islanders during the off-season. The Isles traded him to the A's before this year's trade deadline.
Game 2 is Friday in Coquitlam with the third game at Queen's Park on Saturday, 8 p.m. and Game 4 in Coquitlam on Monday.
If a fifth game is necessary it will be played next Wednesday in New West with Game 6 scheduled for Friday, Aug. 1 in Coquitlam and Game 7 at Queen's Park on Sunday, Aug. 3.
The winner advances to play the Alberta champion in a best-of-five series in B.C.. The Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League final is being played between the Okotoks Raiders and the Calgary Mountaineers.
This year the Minto Cup will return to the best-of-seven series format. The Ontario champion will play the B.C.-Alberta winner in a best-of-seven series starting Aug. 16 with all games at the Langley Events Centre.
From 2003 to 2013, the Minto Cup was a four-team tournament featuring the three provincial league champions and a host team with the site rotating between B.C., Alberta and Ontario.
The Salmonbellies last won the Minto Cup in 1994 when they defeated the Brampton Excelsiors four games to three.