McBride's OT shot keeps 'Bellies in first-place picture

Jordan McBride delivered when the New Westminster Salmonbellies needed it most.

The veteran sniper cashed in his fourth goal of the game Sunday, this time in overtime, to lift the visiting 'Bellies to an 11-10 victory over the Nanaimo Timbermen.

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It also propelled New West into a five-way tie for first place in the Western Lacrosse Association standings.

In a game where the visitors trailed by as much as four goals, the sudden-death result could be described as, if not a lifesaver, but a playoff preserver, heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

Nanaimo led 5-1 early in the second period before the 'Bellies battled back to take a brief 6-5 lead, thanks to five straight tallies. The T-men tied it prior to the end of the second frame, then retook the lead 2:38 into the third on Mason Pynn's goal.

Returning fire, New West reclaimed a 9-7 advantage on markers by Lyndon Bunio, and a pair from McBride just 26 seconds apart. But the home team wasn't about to surrender, countering with three tallies of their own off the sticks of Evan Messenger, Jon Phillips and Braylon Lumb to put themselves back in front with 7:30 remaining in regulation.

Lyndon Bunio's third goal of the night, with 3:55 left in the period, set the stage for McBride's game-winner.

McBride's overtime tally was the first shot that Charles Claxton had to face in extra session, coming right after Alexis Buque made a stop at the other end. The stocky New West netminder passed it to Austin Shanks, who fed McBride for the one-shot opportunity that boostered the 'Bellies record to 9-6-0.

Victoria, Maple Ridge, Burnaby and Nanaimo are also tied atop the league standings with 18 points, although Victoria holds a game-in-hand on the other four.

It came on the heels of a convincing 16-5 whacking of Coquitlam on Thursday, where Mitch Jones netted three goals and four assists and McBride deposited his second hat trick. The 'Bellies busted out to a fast start, leading 6-0 before the visiting Adanacs got on the scoresheet.

Brandon Goodwin tacked on a pair of goals, while Logan Schuss contributed a goal and three assists. Also scoring were Keegan Bal, Anthony Malcom, Mike Messenger and Shanks.

New West hosts Burnaby on Thursday, 7:30 p.m. at Queen's Park Arena, before heading out to Langley and Victoria on July 24 and 25.

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