A pair of new additions paid big dividends for the Langley Thunder.
Trailing 5-1 after a listless 40 minutes, Dane Dobbie and Garrett Billings showed their veteran presence in an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over the Coquitlam Adanacs on Wednesday night in Western Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre.
The win improved Langley to 2-4 while the Adanacs felt to 1-5.
Dobbie had four goals and one assist and was the game’s first star while Billings tallied once and set up three of Dobbie’s four goals in the victory. Johnny Pearson – playing just his second game of the season – had two goals and three points as well for the Thunder.
“Lacrosse is a game of runs and I have seen bigger leads than that blown and I have been a part of blowing them,” Dobbie said in a press release. “You play to the end of the buzzer for a reason and that’s just the proof of it.”
Both he and Billings last played in the WLA in 2013 when they were teammates in Langley.
Dobbie, playing in his 100th career WLA regular season game on Wednesday now has 214 goals and 436 points, plus another 75 goals and 140 points in 45 playoff games. Billings played in career game 43 and has 80 goals and 120 assists for 200 points. He also has 26 goals and 106 points in 29 playoff games.
But with the two new offensive weapons in the line-up, the Thunder struggled in the first 40 minutes.
The score was tied at one after the first period before Coquitlam dominated the second, 4-0, for a 5-1 lead.
Langley head coach Rod Jensen delivered a stern message before the third period.
“We came out flat. They outworked us,” he said in a press release. “I told the team this is a season-defining period, win or lose, we have to compete harder and find a way to put the ball in the net.”
A big key was getting Coquitlam goaltender Dan Lewis moving in his crease, as he stone-walled the Thunder over the first 40 minutes.
Dobbie and Billings scored less than a minute apart in the first 3:45 to cut the lead to two and then Pearson scored in between a pair from Coquitlam’s Alex Bohl, to make the score 7-4 with just over a dozen minutes to play. But JP Kealey made it 7-5 before Dobbie scored twice more to complete the comeback.
“The game gets down to crunch time and you see who comes out to play,” Billings said of Dobbie.
Despite the frustrations of the first 40 minutes when Lewis made 29 saves on 30 shots, Billings said the team had to remain patient.
“We just kept peppering him and eventually we broke him down.”
Next up for the Thunder is a road game in Nanaimo against the 2-4 Timbermen on Sunday (June 17).
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