Season ends in New Westminster
The hole they were in was huge. Perhaps too large to climb out of.
And although they gave it their best shot, the Delta Islanders weren’t able to defeat the New Westminster Salmonbellies and extend their B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League season.
The Islanders, already down 2-0 in their best-of-five semifinal series, needed to defeat New Westminster in three consecutive games to move on to the final. But defeating the Salmonbellies, a team which lost just once in 21 regular season games, wasn’t going to happen in the third game of the series Tuesday night in New Westminster.
The Islanders lost 17-12, and saw their season come to an end.
In the regular season, Delta finished in fourth-place in the eight-team league with a 12-9 record, 16 points back of the 20-1 Salmonbellies.
Delta, which did knock off the ’Bellies in a regular season game in May, took an early 2-0 lead Tuesday on goals by Jonathan Phillips and Spencer Bromley. And after the Salmonbellies tied the score, Mike Avery put the Islanders back in front 3-2 just shy of the 14-minute mark of the first period.
New Westminster tied the game seconds later, then Delta took its third lead of the game on a goal by Cory Takahara.
It was the last time the Islanders would have a lead.
After the Salmonbellies netted two quick goals for a 5-4 advantage, Reece Callies of Delta tied the game once more.
New Westminster scored twice in the last minute of the opening frame, then again in the first five minutes of the second period and led 8-5 and never looked back.
Delta did manage a brief rally to pull to within 9-8 midway through the period, but New Westminster was back in front 14-9 after 40 minutes and maintained a lead of at least four goals over the final period.
Phillips and Bromley finished as Delta’s top scorers in the game with five points each, Phillips on three goals and two assists and Bromley on a goal and four helpers.
Takahara, Callies, Avery, Evan Messenger, Spencer Stevens, Sam Klingsporn, Brad Hofmann and Cody Nass scored once each.
Phillips was Delta’s leading scorer in the postseason with six goals and 14 points in three games. Messenger added six goals and 12 points.