Thunder through to round two
It is game over for the Burnaby Lakers.
The Langley Thunder moved on to round two of the Western Lacrosse Association playoff series after sweeping the Lakers in four straight games.
Game four was on Aug. 10 at the Bill Copeland Arena with the Thunder erasing a third-period deficit to win 11-10.
Langley now awaits the winner of the Victoria Shamrocks and Coquitlam Adanacs semifinal series — currently led two games to one by Coquitlam — to see who they will face for the WLA championship.
The Thunder are the defending league champs.
In game four, Langley took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission, but Burnaby opened the second with four straight goals to lead 5-3. The Thunder responded with a trio of scores in less than two minutes before the Lakers closed the second with a pair of goals 57 seconds apart to re-take the lead.
And the third period was more back and forth with both senior A lacrosse squads scoring twice in the first 4:03.
But goals 23 seconds part from Matthew MacGrotty and Athan Iannucci put Langley ahead for good.
Iannucci added his third of the game a few minutes later — he also had an assist and was named first star with a four-point night — and that stood up as the winner after Burnaby scored with 11 seconds remaining to pull within a goal.
Garrett Billings returned to the lineup for the Thunder with five assists while Lewis Ratcliff scored once and set up three others. He lead all scorers in the series with 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists), eight more than any other player.
Shayne Jackson (two goals, one assist), Rob Van Beek (one goal, two assists) and Joel McCready (one goal, one assist) also had multi-point games.
Alex Turner and Kerry Susheski had an assist apiece.
Steve Fryer got the call in goal and made 36 saves.
The Thunder, as the top team during the WLA regular season, will have home-floor advantage in the league finals.
The Shamrocks/Adanacs series continues with game four on Aug. 12 and game five on Aug. 14.
If necessary, games six and seven would be Aug. 15 and Aug. 19, respectively.