The Langley Junior Thunder’s post-season hopes took a big hit on Tuesday night as they were on the wrong end of an 11-8 score to the New Westminster Junior Salmonbellies at Queen’s Park Arena.
The defeat dropped Langley to 8-7-1 and four points back of the fourth and final playoff spot in the BC Junior A Lacrosse League. The Thunder have just five games remaining but do hold a game in hand on the team they are chasing, the Victoria Junior Shamrocks.
Langley led just once in Tuesday’s game after Ryan Martel opened the scoring 5:29 into the contest. But the ‘Bellies tied things up 29 seconds later and then went ahead for good later in the frame. New West led 3-1 after one period and extended the advantage to as many as five goals.
The Thunder would cut the deficit to two goals, 9-7, with 9:07 to play, but the Salmonbellies quickly re-established the advantage to four with goals 39 seconds apart.
Dylan McIntosh led the Langley offence with four goals while Ryan Martel had a hat trick and six points. Nathaniel Kozevnikov rounded out the scoring with a goal and an assist.
Torin Vanrheenen made 48 saves in a losing effort as his team was out-shot 59-39.
Keegan Bell (three goals, one assist), Tre Leclaire (two goals, four assists), Carter Dickson (two goals, three assists) and Charlie Kurtenbach (one goal, three assists) led the New West offence.
Up next for the Thunder is their final home game at Langley Events Centre on Thursday (June 28) as they host the Burnaby Lakers. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Following that, Langley is on the road for their final four games.