Thunder, Shamrocks set for post-season battle

by Gary Ahuja

Kanen Hunter and the Langley Thunder are in tough as they get set to battle the Victoria Shamrocks in the BC Junior Tier 1 Lacrosse League playoffs beginning this weekend. Gary Ahuja Langley Events Centre photo

The Victoria Shamrocks stand between the Langley Thunder and a spot in the BC Junior Tier 1 Lacrosse League semifinals.

The second-place Shamrocks (13-4-1, 27 points) have home-floor advantage over the seventh-ranked Thunder (7-11, 14 points) as the two rivals square off in the league quarter-finals beginning this weekend.

Game one goes Saturday (July 13) in Victoria at 2 p.m. with the rematch set for the following day (July 14) at Langley Events Centre with the action getting underway at 1 p.m.

If necessary, the teams would play the deciding game back in the provincial capital on Tuesday (July 16).

Victoria enters the post-season as one of the league’s hottest teams with just one loss in their final 10 games (8-1-1) while the Thunder won three of their final 10 but did finish with two victories and an overtime loss in their last three games.

The Shamrocks did win both games in the season series, prevailing 11-5 back on May 18 and then 14-7 on June 2.

But the Thunder have gotten stronger as the season wound down. A perfect example of this is the face Langley suffered its worse loss of the season, 21-8 to the Delta Islanders on June 18 but four games later (in the regular season finale), Langley took third-place Delta all the way to overtime before losing 12-11.

And while the Shamrocks bested the Thunder in the season series, Langley did post similar offensive numbers to Victoria, outscoring the Shamrocks by four goals (171 to 167) over the course of the regular season. The biggest difference was, however, the fact that Victoria was second stingiest, allowing a total of 136 goals over 18 games, compared to the Thunder’s 189 (second worst).

Braiden Struss-Reid and Cooper Gettel finished tied for the Langley goal-scoring lead with 23 goals apiece while Struss-Reid edged Tristan Kirkham for the team’s points lead, 46 to 45. Kanen Hunter was third on the team with 43 points. The team also has Trevayne Hunter and Kyle Brunsch, after the pair spent the bulk of the season as call-ups for the Langley Junior A squad, gaining valuable experience.

In limited action, Hunter had 14 goals and 21 points in five games while Brunsch has three goals and 13 points in three games. At the Junior A level, Hunter had 13 goals and 37 points in 15 games while Brunsch had seven goals and 23 points in a dozen games.

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For more information:

Gary Ahuja, Langley Events Centre, 604.613.5242 (cell), 604.455.8830 (office) or email.