New Westminster remained one step ahead of the pack in second place in Western Lacrosse Association action last night.
The senior Salmonbellies took the game and season series from Langley, defeating the Thunder 8-7 at the Langley Events Centre on Wednesday.
New West led 7-3 midway through the final period on rookie lefthander Luke Gillespie’s 14th goal of the season.
But a minute later, Langley staged a rally that came gave the visiting Salmonbellies some anxious moments in the final minutes, scoring three times in the final two minutes on a pair of back-to-back goals by first star Patrick Saunders and a single by Lewis Ratcliff, who brought the deficit to within a single goal from Saunders and Record rookie of the year candidate Anthony Malcom.
But it was New Westminster’s doing in the early going that made the difference.
Colton Clark opened the game with his first of two goals at 26 seconds and then gave the ’Bellies a 5-3 lead late in the second period.
New West had its transition game going early on, with Kyle Ross and Brendan Ranford both potting game-leading counters.
Shane MacDonald, Jordan McBride and Logan Schuss led the ’Bellies with three points apiece. Saunders collected five for the Thunder.
Eric Penney continued his positive play in goal with 30 stops.
The win kept New West two points ahead of Maple Ridge and Langley, both tied with 14 points apiece. Burnaby and Coquitlam are another two points back, with six wins each.
New West takes on the Adanacs in another season-series decider tonight at Queen’s Park Arena at 7:45 p.m.