The New Westminster Salmonbellies defeated the Maple Ridge Burrards – at least on the scoreboard.
New West’s 11-10 Western Lacrosse Association victory at Queen’s Park Arena was protested by the Burrards following the game, arguing that New West called up senior B goalie Neil Tyacke – a player currently on its holdout list – for the Thursday night home game on July 9.
WLA commissioner Ernie Truant heard the complaint and ruled in favour of Maple Ridge, but said the ’Bellies have 14 days to file an appeal to a league committee.
“That appeal is likely to be heard next week,” said club president Dan Richardson, who confirmed the appeal. “We think we have a strong case, or else we wouldn’t be appealing.”
Should the appeal be upheld, no fewer than five teams would currently be bunched together with just two points separating them, following a week that saw Coquitlam rise again from the ashes and knock off powerhouse Victoria 13-11 on the Island.
At Queen’s Park, New West had its running game going, scoring two goals in transition in the final minutes of the opening period by Justin Goodwin and captain Curtis Hodgson to go into the second with a 4-1 advantage over the visiting Burrards.
Jeff Cornwall got a third goal on the counter-attack early in the middle frame on an unassisted counter to put the home Salmonbellies up 6-1, while Colton Clark tallied the eventual game-winner with a fourth transition marker from Cornwall and goalie Eric Penney midway through the final period.
Earlier in the contest, Maple Ridge momentarily tied it at 6-6, with five goals in a seven-minute span in the second stanza.
But less than a minute later, Jimmy McBride put the ’Bellies back into the lead for good on a setup by first-star Keegan Bal.
Richard Lachlan started the third period with a pair of goals for the Salmonbellies to put the home team up by two.
Penney backed up the win, making 40 stops in the New West cage.
“It’s a very tight league,” said New West head coach Steve Goodwin. “What it comes down to is you want one team to get hot and knocks everybody off, and we’d like to be that team to be us.”
But with back-to-back games upcoming against Langley and Coquitlam, and season series on the line in both contests, losing just isn’t an affordable option at this point in the season, said Goodwin.
“We have to beat those teams to take the next step, Goodwin added. “All our season series are on the line.”
New West is in Langley on Wednesday, before coming home to Queen’s Park to host the hot-and-cold Coquitlam Adanacs on Thursday.
Game time is 7:45 p.m.