On Wednesday night the WLA championship kicked off as the Langley Thunder hosted the Victoria Shamrocks in game one of their series.
The first period started off quiet with neither team being able to breakthrough. At the eight minute mark Jeff Shattler would take a 2 minute penalty putting Langley on the power play. It would be Victoria though that would score first as Tyler Haas scored short handed to put Victoria up 1-0. Garret Billings would continue his strong play as he scored to tie this game at 1-1. With just a minute left in the first Alex Crepinsek scored to give Langley the 2-1 lead heading into the second period.
Langley would build on their lead to begin the second period as Mark Matthews scored to put the Thunder up 3-1. Victoria would cut the lead to one as Corey Small once again scored when the Shamrocks needed him. Langley would regain their two goal lead as Athan Iannucci scored to put the Thunder up 4-2. Victoria would continue to fight as Brody Eastwood scored pulling the Shamrocks to within one making it 4-3. Once again the Thunder would score with a minute left in the period as Dane Dobbie found the back of the net to put the Thunder up 5-3 at the end of two periods of play.
Early in the third period Victoria would once again cut the lead to one as Jeff Shattler scored to make it 5-4. Langley would once again build their lead back up as Mark Matthews scored a pair of goals to complete his hat trick and put the Thunder up 7-4. Victoria did not give up as Rhys Duch scored to cut the lead to two and make it 7-5. With just twenty seconds left in the game Dan MacRae would score to cut the lead to one but Victoria could not tie the game up as Langley would take game one 7-6.
As one could expect this was a hard fought game between two top teams. The difference in this game was Brodie MacDonald who made 48 saves on the night and held off the Victoria assault. MacDonald has been the best player for the Thunder all year and has continued his strong play in the playoffs. Game two should be another hard fought battle and it will be interesting to see what adjustments Victoria makes in game two.