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Dream season dies on Queen's Park floor
The New Westminster Jr. Salmonbellies dream season officially became a nightmare Sunday.
The Coquitlam Adanacs downed the ’Bellies 12-8 at Queen's Park Arena to take the seventh and deciding game in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League final.
New West went into the series having lost only one game in 24 this year, including defeating the A's in all three of their regular-season encounters.
With the win the Adanacs advanced to a best-of-five series against the Alberta champion Calgary Mountaineers. The winner will meet Ontario champion Six Nations Arrows in a best-of-seven Minto Cup final to be played at the Langley Events Centre starting Aug. 16.
Coquitlam jumped on New West early Sunday taking a 5-1 lead after one period and extending it to 6-1 just 37 seconds into the second. It was a deficit the Salmonbellies couldn't recover from.
The Adanacs were bolstered in the playoffs by the addition of two players. Wesley Berg returned to the A's after finishing up his collegiate season at the University of Denver and then playing for the Canadian team that won the world field lacrosse championship in Colorado last month. Berg scored five goals and assisted on another Sunday to give him 16 goals and 29 points in the series and the nod as the playoff MVP.
The Adanacs also acquired sniper Eli McLaughlin in a late-season trade with the Delta Islanders. McLaughlin was picked up by the Salmonbellies in a similar deadline deal last season. He had two goals and two assists Sunday to give him 18 goals and 40 assists in the playoffs That was second only to New West's Anthony Malcom who racked up 43 post-season points including 18 goals.
Malcom had two goals and two assists Sunday. Regular season playoff scoring leader Connor Robinson and Johnny Pearson also scored twice for New West. Josh Byrne had a goal and two assists while Justin Goodwin had the other ’Bellies goal.
The loss came on the heels of New Westminster forcing a Game 7 by thrashing the Adanacs 13-6 on their home floor in Game 6 on Friday.
In that contest, the ’Bellies jumped on the A's with a 7-2 lead after one period. Robinson and Nathan Stewart both had two goals and six points. Malcom had three goals with singles going to Byrne, Jakob Doucet, Tyrell Hamer-Jackson, Pearson, Adam Dickson and Luke Gillespie.