This past weekend was a very eventful one in the WLA with surprises and great action. The WLA had four games on the schedule this weekend which were Maple Ridge vs. Burnaby, Coquitlam vs. New Westminster, Langley vs. Maple Ridge and Burnaby vs. Nanaimo.
The action started off on Friday night as Burnaby took on Maple Ridge. The game was a back and forth affair with neither team being able to put the other away. Maple Ridge looked to be on the verge of winning their first game as they entered the third period with a 6-3 lead. Burnaby though would comeback with 5 goals in the third period to make the score 8-6, Maple Ridge though answered back and scored two goals to force overtime after 60 minutes the score was 8-8. In overtime Maple Ridge struck first with a power play goal from Brandon Bertoia but Burnaby responded with a shorthanded goal from Casey Jackson. The game ended in a 9-9 tie the first tie of 2012 WLA season. The three stars of the game were 1st star Derek Lowe from Maple Ridge, 2nd star Dane Stevens from Burnaby and 3rd star Riley Loewen from Maple Ridge. With the tie Maple ridge improved to 0-5-1 on the season while Burnaby’s record went to 3-2-1.
The second game on the weekend schedule was between Coquitlam and New Westminster on Saturday night. Coquitlam pulled an upset as they were able to completely shut down New Westminster and win 5-1. Coqutilam continued their great play on defense and stymied New Westminster’s offense. The story of this game was Nick Rose as he only allowed 1 goal on 39 shots on net. Coquitlam also received offensive support from Dane Dobbie as he returned from injury and showed his great chemistry with team mate Daryl Veltman which helped to spark the offense. On the opposite end of the floor Tyler Richards continued to struggle as he allowed 5 goals on just 27 shots. New Westminster was also unable to get their power play going as they 0-3 on the power play. The three stars of the game were 1st Star Nick Rose of Coquitlam, 2nd star Daryl Veltman of Coqutilam and 3rd star Dane Dobbie of Coqutilam. Despite having won their first three games the Salmonbellies have struggle recently and have now lost 3 games in a row bring their record to 3-3 on the season. With the win Coquitlam improves to 2-4 on the season.
The third game of the weekend schedule was between Nanaimo and Burnaby on Sunday. Burnaby began this game strong by scoring 6 goals in the first period and chasing Nanaimo goalie Matt King from the net. Nanaimo though would bring in Zach Boychuck who wound up turning the tide and allowed Nanaimo to make a comeback as he made 36 saves on 41 shots on goal. Nanaimo was able to outscore Burnaby 8-3 in the last two periods which enabled Nanaimo to force overtime. After 60 minutes the game was tied 9-9. Overtime solved nothing as both teams scored two goals and settled for an 11-11 tie. This game was a goaltender duel as Boychuck and Joe Bell were solid all night gave both their teams a chance to win.The three stars of the game were 1st star Joel Henry of Nanaimo, 2nd star Dane Stevens of Burnaby and 3rd star Zach Boychuck of Nanaimo. With the tie Buranby’s record goes to 3-2-2 while Nanaimo’s record goes to 2-3-1.\
The final game of the weekend schedule was between Langley and Maple Ridge on Sunday night. Langley entered this game on a four game winning streak and built off this momentum as they were able to get 5 goals in the first period. Langley kept their foot on the gas pedal and did not give Maple Ridge any chance to get back in this game. Langley won the game by a score of 13-10. Langley was lead by forwards Athan Iannucci, Lewis Ratcliff and Alex Turner who helped to fuel the Langley offense. Goaltending was once again Maple Ridge’s problem as neither Chris Seidel or Blake Duncan could stop Langley’s offense. The three stars of the game were 1st star Alex Turner from Langley, 2nd star Aaron Pascas from Maple Ridge and 3rd star Lewis Ratcliff from Langley. With this win Langley extends their winning streak to 5 games and improves their record to 5-2 on the season. With the loss Maple Ridge falls to 0-6-1 on the season.
After the weekend the WLA standings are Victoria in first, Langley in second, Burnaby in third, New Westminster in fourth, Nanaimo in fifth, Coquitlam in sixth and Maple Ridge in last place.