Bellies on the ropes as A’s grab series lead
The Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs are one game away from punching their ticket to the Minto Cup.
The club defeated the New Westminster Salmonbellies 7-4 on hostile turf Wednesday night, meaning the A’s could wrap up the series when it moves back to Coquitlam tonight.
Wednesday’s win was not easy for the Adanacs.
The squad struggled in the first period, allowing the home team to go up 3-1 with a pair of goals from the Bellies’ Josh Byrne and a single from Anthony Malcolm. Despite the fact the A’s outshot their opponents, the only Adanac to find the net in the first was Cole Shafer, who buried a pass from line mate Erik Klein at 14:49.
But Coquitlam began to take charge of the game in the second period. Shafer scored his second of the game, while Jordan Gilles and Tyler Pace helped the team take a 4-3 lead going into the final frame.
An early goal from New Westminster’s Luke Gillespie tied things up in the second, but the Adanacs continued to pour on the offence, with markers from Wesley Berg, Eli McLaughlin and Evan Wortley.
The Bellies appeared to run out of ways of solving Adanacs net minder Pete Dubenski, who stopped 36 of the 40 shots he faced in the game.
However, finishing the series in Coquitlam on Friday won’t be easy for the A’s, who have yet to win a game in front of their fans. Only New Westminster has won one at home in this series, when they downed Coquitlam in Game 1 on July 23.
Coquitlam is hoping to avoid a repeat of the team’s last home game, a 13-8 loss in Game 5 on Monday in a penalty filled match that led to several game misconducts and a $1,500 fine levied against the Adanacs’ coach.
A'S COULD CLINCH SERIES TONIGHT
New West took a commanding 6-1 lead after the first period and continued to pile on the goals in the second, leading the game 11-5 going in tot he final frame.
Coquitlam’s Pace snagged a goal in the first, while Berg, Wortley and McLaughlin netted markers in the second. Pace finished the game with a hat trick after scoring two in the third but any chance of a comeback was squashed when Coquitlam’s frustration boiled over in the final minutes of the period.
First, Adanacs goaltender Riley Camazzola along with forwards Conner Stroup, Taylor Stuart and Keegan Rittenger received game misconducts for fighting in a row with New Westminster’s Jakob Doucet, Tyrell Hamer-Jackson and Johnny Pearson with five minutes left in the game.
The rough stuff didn’t end there.
Adanacs runner James Rahe was ejected for fighting Alex Bohl at the 18 minute mark. Six seconds later Coquitlam’s Erik Klein was ejected along with teammate Robin Lowenberger. They were later joined by Andy Taylor and Ray Banister, who got into fights with Mitch MacAulay and Javier Tudela.
The bad blood sets the stage for an interesting weekend. The Adanacs are expected to take on the Bellies tonight (Friday, Aug. 1) at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
If Coquitlam cannot close out the series in Game 6, they will return to New Westminster on Sunday for an 8 p.m. Game 7 match at the Queens Park Arena.
For more information go to www.bcjuniorlacrosse.com.