Thunder silenced in game 5
The Langley Thunder were silenced in their bid to capture the Western Lacrosse Association championship on Monday night.
The senior A Thunder dropped a 7-6 decision to the visiting Coquitlam Adanacs in game five of the best-of-seven series at the Langley Events Centre. Langley leads the series 3-2.
The teams were tied at a goal apiece — Ryan Johnson opened the scoring for Coquitlam while Lewis Ratcliff responded for Langley — after the opening 20 minutes.
But Kevin Olson and Dane Dobbie scored 26 seconds apart to put the Adanacs ahead for good.
The game could have turned in the second period after that, however, as after the Adanacs were called for a penalty, Langley coach Rod Jensen asked for a measurement of the shin pads of Coquitlam goalie Nick Rose.
They were found to be too big and Rose was assessed a penalty and a game misconduct for illegal equipment.
But the Thunder squandered their two-man advantage as back-up goalie Adam Shute stood tall.
And 23 seconds after killing the penalties, Olson made it a 4-1 game.
The game was not without controversy.
Shortly after Coquitlam went ahead by three, Langley's Alex Turner appeared to cut the deficit to two goals. Although initially ruled a goal, the referees consulted and then waved it off. A photo taken of the play appears to show the ball having fully crossed the goal line.
Athan Iannucci did finally score a few minutes later to make it 4-2 but during a five-minute Coquitlam power play — where it did not appear Thunder captain Matt Leveque made contact with his stick against Dobbie — Ben McIntosh restored the three-goal Adanacs advantage.
And later in the period, Langley goaltender Brodie MacDonald was assessed a pair of minor penalties: one for slashing and the other for delay of game after he deliberately knocked the net off its moorings. He was subsequently replaced by back-up Steve Fryer.
McIntosh scored on the two-man advantage early in the third to make it 6-2 and Robert Church put the visitors ahead by five with another goal four minutes later.
The Thunder finally found their game after that, scoring four goals in a nine-minute span — Iannucci, Garrett Billings, Sam Cook and Ratcliff — put ran out of time before they could net the equalizer.
Iannucci's score was the goal of the night as he scored one-handed with three defenders draped on his back.
Langley was once again hurt by the absence of Ian Poole who missed his second straight game. Without the ace face-off man, the Thunder were 50 per cent on draws (8-for-16).
In the first three games of the series, Poole was 34-13 in the face-off circle, winning just over 72 per cent of his draws.
Shute finished with 25 saves on 30 shots while Fryer stopped nine of the 11 shots he faced.
Rose stopped nine of the 10 shots he saw and MacDonald made 29 saves on 34 shots.
Game six of the series is on Aug. 29 at Coquitlam's Poirier Sports Complex at 7:45 p.m. Should the Adanacs win, a seventh and deciding game would be Aug. 21 at the LEC. The game would also start at 7:45 p.m.
The winner of the series represents the WLA back east in Ontario for the Mann Cup against Peterborough, which won the Major Lacrosse Series.