Thunder ready to be heard in WLA finals
One team had the league's best record during the regular season while the other cleaned up among the year-end all-star and award selections.
And now the Langley Thunder and the Coquitlam Adanacs will meet in the Western Lacrosse Association championship series
Game one of the best-of-seven series is on Sunday (Aug. 19) at 7:45 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
The Thunder, the defending WLA champs, won the regular season title with a 12-6-0 record, while Coquitlam was third (10-8-0) with 20 points.
The Adanacs did win two of the three regular season games between the senior A lacrosse rivals with both teams winning 7-6 on the others' home floor. The other matchup was a decisive 12-4 Adanacs victory in Coquitlam,
Coquitlam also dominated when it came to individual honours with three of the six first team all-star awards — goalie Nick Rose, forward Dane Dobbie and Bruce Murray on defence — while the Thunder's Brett Mydske (defence) was the lone Langley first team all-star.
Both teams placed one on the second team, Athan Iannucci (forward) for Langley and Brad Richardson (defence) for the Adanacs.
Rose also won the league's most valuable player and top goaltender awards, while Mydske was the top defender and Langley's Ian Poole was the league's unsung hero.
"It should be a good series," predicted Langley coach Rod Jensen.
"We match up pretty well against them."
Jensen singled out three aspects of the Adanacs game Langley needs to focus on.
"They have an athletic defence, a good goalie and Dane Dobbie," he said.
"We are going to have to work hard.
"Dane is a one-man scoring machine; if we can control those things, they are going to have a hard time beating us."
Dobbie led the Adanacs in scoring with 29 goals and 58 points in 14 games. And he has really upped his game in the post-season, notching 19 goals and 10 assists in Coquitlam's six-game victory against the Victoria Shamrocks. He was in on more than half of the team's 56 goals.
Rose was in goal for all six games — minus 38 seconds — and finished with an 8.07 goals against average and a .840 save percentage.
The Thunder are led by Lewis Ratcliff who had 10 goals and 21 points in the team's four-game sweep of the Burnaby Lakers.
And goaltender Brodie MacDonald was in goal for three of the team's four victories, posting a 6.38 goals against average and a .849 save percentage.
The Thunder will host game three of the series at the LEC on Aug. 23 while Coquitlam hosts games two and four at the Poirier Sports Complex on Aug. 21 and Aug. 25.
If necessary, games five and seven would be in Langley and game six would be in Coquitlam.
The winner travels to Ontario to face the Major Series Lacrosse champions for the Mann Cup in September.