The New Westminster Salmonbellies appear to have left a .500 season behind them.
The junior A Salmonbellies took a big step towards catching the B.C. Junior Lacrosse League frontrunners following a comeback 14-11 victory over the visiting Victoria Shamrocks at Queen’s Park Arena on Sunday.
The win, coupled with last Thursday’s 9-8 win in Langley, moved the New West club to within two points of third-place Victoria.
“We needed that win pretty badly. We’ve been struggling this year. It was nice to pull that one off,” said first-year junior Carter Dickson.
New West trailed Victoria in each of the first and second periods before pulling even at the interval.
But in the final frame, it was a totally different story.
Jeremy Bosher, in just his third game back since sharing a NCAA Division I field lacrosse title with the University of Denver, scored three of his game-high four goals, including the game winner, in the third period.
Four of New West’s six goals in the third period came on the power play.
Connor Robinson shared a game-high six points with Dickson, who had three goals and as many helpers, including his team-high 19th goal of the season.
“It was nice to have all the boys back from school and get some goals. Last year, they didn’t have this problem,” the 17-year-old Dickson added.
New West trailed Victoria 8-5 at the midway point of the second period, when Michael Flintoff came in for starter Tyler Landry and had one of his best outings in recent weeks, allowing just three goals and putting up a 0.870 save percentage in the 32 minutes remaining in the game.
Dickson’s hat-trick goal at 10:41 of the middle period sparked a six-goal mini-run for the juniors that extended into the third stanza.
In Langley, New West played nip-and-tuck with the Thunder up until the final four minutes, when Salmonbellie captain Tyrell Hamer-Jackson tallied the unassisted game winner at the Langley Events Centre.
The junior ’Bellies held a lead for all but a one-minute span in the third period in a game that was tied on six separate occasions.
New West improved its record to 8-5-0 with a game in hand on Victoria and league-leading Coquitlam and two games less than second-place Delta at 11-4-0.
“We’ve been getting scared about the playoff spot, but if we play like this, for sure, there will be no problem securing a playoff spot,” Dickson said.
New West took on Coquitlam at home tonight (Tuesday) at 8 p.m. The juniors are in Port Coquitlam on Friday. Game time is also 8 p.m.