On Wednesday night the WLA was back in action with the second place Langley Thunder taking on the last place Maple Ridge Burrards. Langley has won both games against Maple Ridge this year and were looking for another win in order to move back into first place in the WLA. While Maple Ridge were trying to play spoiler against Langley and upset them in order to show the WLA that they will be better next year.
The first period started off slow with Maple Ridge and Langley at a stalemate as neither team could get their offense going early in the game.Â Langley would draw first blood though 11 minutes into the first period as Garret Billings scored to give Langley a 1-0 lead. Billingâ€™s wasnâ€™t done their though as he scored another goal just 23 second later in order to make the score 2-0. Maple Ridgeâ€™s defense would then once again shutdown Langleyâ€™s offense. With a minute left in the first period though Lewis Ratcliff scored for Langley in order to make it 3-0. Just 20 seconds later though Alex Turner scored for Langley in order to make it 4-0 at the end of the first period. The second period began with Maple Ridge fighting their way back into this game as Riley Lowen scored just 2 minutes into the period while Curtis Dickson scored just a minute later in order to make the score 4-2. Maple Ridge would continue to dominate the second period as Jaxson Lee and Brandon Bertoia scoredÂ a minute apart in order to tie the game 4-4. Langley would quickly respond and take the lead back as Athan Iannucci scored in order to retake the lead 5-4. Maple Ridgeâ€™s offense though once again took control just 20 seconds after Langleyâ€™s goal as David Joyce, Dayne Michaud, and Jarret Davis scored consecutively in order to give Maple Ridge a 7-5 lead. With three minutes left in the second though Athan Iannucci once again took control for Langley as he scored two goals a minute apart in order to tie the game 7-7. With just under 30 seconds in the period Lewis Ratcliff would score for Langley in order to once again retake the lead 8-7. Randy Daly though for Maple Ridge would once again tie the game up as he scored with 5 seconds left in the period in order to make the score 8-8 at the end of the second period.
As the third period began the game turned into a defensive battle as neither team could get their offense going. Langley would break the stalemate though as Kerry Shusheski scored 10 minutes into the period in order to give Langley the 9-8 lead. Joel McCready would score a minute later in order to increase Langleys lead to 10-8. Maple Ridge would comeback though as Simon Giourmetakis, Curtis Dickson and Randy Daly each scored a minute apart in order to give Maple Ridge the lead 11-10. With just a minute left in the game it looked as if Maple Ridge would complete the upset but Lewis Ratcliff spoiled the party as he scored for Langley with just 50 seconds left in the game in order to tie the game 11-11 and force overtime. In overtime Langley struck quickly as Joel McCready scored just 21 seconds into the overtime period to give Langley the 12-11 lead. Langley would then go on to shut down Maple Ridgeâ€™s offense in order to preserve their 12-11 win.
Maple Ridge played their best game of the season on Wednesday night as they took one of the best teams in the WLA to their limit. Maple Ridge will begin to look to next season as their playoff hopes for this year are over. Maple Ridge will have some bright stars though next year as Drew Dickie has emerged as a solid goalie as he proved against Langley stopping 43 of 55 shots on net. Maple Ridge will also have Curtis Dickson back who showed his offensive talent against Langley notching 2 goals and 4 assists and earning himself second star of the game honors. Maple Ridge will look to gain a win in their final game of the season on Sunday July 29th against the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
Langley proved tonight that they will not give up very easily and will always fight till the very end of the game. Langley showed great perseverance tonight as they took Maple Ridge’s best shot and were still able to come away with a win in the end. Langley had some struggles in net as Brodie MacDonald was pulled after playing just 30 minutes and only making 17 saves on 23 shots. Steve Fryer though shined as he made 22 saves on 27 shots on net and helped Langley gain the win. Langley also received great performances from Garrett Billings and Lewis Ratcliff. Billings had 2 goals and 5 assists and earned first star honors. While Ratcliff had3 goals and 2 assists and earned third star of the game honors. Langleyâ€™s last game of the season will be against the Burnaby Lakers on Friday July 27.