Goaltending Battle in Game 4 Leads to OT Winner by Langley.

by Paul Horn

When you have the very best shooters in the game playing for the WLA Championship, you don’t expect the storyline to be about team defence, but that’s exactly what happened in Langley Tuesday night. There were more ties in the second overtime game of the series than at a high school graduation, but a late OT goal by Langley’s Chase Scanlan would end up being the difference maker. The series is now tied at two apiece.

The scoring summary is astonishingly short:

Clay Scanlan got the first goal of the game just shy of two minutes in, but then the guns went silent for both teams. Both the goaltending and the defence in front of each goalie were some of the best witnessed in years.

New West would not get a goal until the 16 minute mark, and for the first 10 minutes were having difficulty putting shots on Frank Scigliano.  Keegan Bal - who scored the double overtime winner on Sunday night - was the eventual culprit, with the helper from Kevin Crowley.  After 20 minutes, the game was square at one goal each, and New West had started to catch up in shots on goal.  

The seesaw battle continued in the second period, with Robinson getting the first of that period for Langley (the only powerplay goal in the game) and Haiden Dickson responding two minutes later (his 70th of the summer!). Clay Scanlan would get his second of the night for the Thunder. The Langley lead would hold until, with just one minute left, Adrian Sorichetti  received and then returned a clearing pass from Brett Mydske, who then squeezed it over Scigliano. Mydske scores rarely, but his well-timed goal meant we were once again tied at the end of a period,  this time at three apiece.

The script for the third period was familiar. Dobbie scored from behind a crowd just a minute and a half into that frame, and New West would be held off the scoreboard until the very last seconds. Then, with the goalie pulled, Will Malcom got dramatic. 

Malcom took a pass deep in the left corner and drove to the net. Despite being hit hard, he shot while nearly laying on the ground, scoring the tying goal with 18 seconds remaining.

Off to the 10-minute overtime period we would go. This time though, things looked a little different.

Kevin Crowley received a beautiful pass as he was alone in the middle. He faked three times and dodged two defenders, placing the ball over Scigliano’s shoulder.  The Salmonbellies were finally in front.

With 8 1/2 minutes remaining in overtime, the Bellies could not afford to sit back and protect their one goal lead, but Langley’s defence was just as thrifty as that of the Bellies. While the Fish smothered the right side of the Langley offence, Robert Church took an errant pass from Dickson and managed a seeing eye pass to Dylan Kinnear, who was alone on the left crease and able to put it over a sliding Higgins. For the fifth time on the night, the score was tied.

That tie continued with neither team relinquishing any space, until Langley’s Chase Scanlan took an outside shot with just 1:22 remaining. It might have been a flier, but it bounced and found the top corner, where it proved to be the winner.

On a night when both goalies played lights-out lacrosse, it was no surprise that they were both named stars. Scigliano was named first star with an 89% save average and Higgins was second with an 87% average. Clay Scanlan’s 2 goal performance earned him third star.

New West scorers included Crowley, Bal and H. Dickson (all at 1-1-2) Meanwhile, Mitch Jones had 2 helpers while Mydske and Malcom earned singles.

For Langley, C. Dickson and Church each had 3 assists. Robinson, Chase Scanlan, and Dobbie all had 1-1-2 nights. The night’s only multi-goal scorer was the younger Scanlan brother, Clay, with a 2-0-2 evening. Kinnear had a single goal.

The series - much like most moments in the last two games - is again tied. Game 5 will be at Queens Park Arena on Thursday evening at 7:30.

Tickets are available at the Queens Park box office during business hours and one hour before game time. Fans can skip the line and buy their tickets online here.

The Bellies are proudly sponsored by Stonehaus Realty!

Photo from Game 3: