The New Westminster Salmonbellies took round 1 of their best-of-five junior A lacrosse semifinal series against Delta.
The regular season runner-up jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead and then the Salmonbellie defence did the rest following an 8-3 win over the Islanders at Queen's Park on Wednesday.
The Record's player of the game Frankie Scigliano stopped 27
And that stinginess by the defensive corp will help the Salmonbellies as they go further into the playoffs.
Righthanders Tyler Digby and Leif Mydske gave the offence an early kickstart, garnering three points apiece in the first period.
Digby, who finished fourth in B.C. Junior Lacrosse League scoring and was second overall with 49 goals this season, opened the scoring with his first of the playoffs in the second minute of the game.
Mydske then counted his first of two in the period off a low screened shot.
Callup Steven Ferdinandi counted his first junior A playoff goal midway through the opening period with a quick shot from close in on the left side.
"When we give up seven shots in the first period it really helps our O (offence). It doesn't put that much pressure on them," Scigliano said.
New Westminster carried that momentum into the middle pershots, while allowing just three goals for a sizzling 90 per cent save average.
But the 6-4, second-year keeper was quick to spread the praise around.
"We're a really tight group back there," Scigliano said of the New West back end. "We play together. We talk a lot. We're like brothers on the floor. We know who we are and it helps a lot. We play bigger than we are."
New West outshot the visiting Islanders 17-7 in the first period. iod, capitalizing on a four-minute checking from behind call at the end of the first frame.
Mark Negrin, with his first power-play goal of the period, and Brandon Goodwin from the point, both scored with the Salmonbellies on the extra-man.
Negrin then got his second tally late in the period after Delta put together a mini rally with two, including a shorthanded counter from Logan Schuss.
Justin Salt and Schuss, with a late power-play goal in the final minute of play, scored in the third period.
For Salt, it was his fifth point of the game, tying him with Digby with a game-high one goal and four helpers.
"Delta has a couple of big-name players. We had to come out prepared tonight," Scigliano added. "We have to be prepared for anything."
That anything could be Saturday, when the junior 'Bellies meet the Islanders for Game 2 of the playoffs at the Ladner Arena. The two teams then meet again at Queen's Park Arena on Tuesday. Both games are 8 p.m. starts.
The Coquitlam Adanacs/Victoria Shamrocks series begins on Saturday in the capital city. Game 2 and 3 are back in Coquitlam. Game 2 is Sunday at 5 p.m. Game 3 is the following Saturday.