WLA Preview: Burnaby Lakers Vs. New Westminster Salmonbellies

On Thursday night the New Westminster Salmonbellies will face off against the Burnaby Lakers. New Westminster has struggled recently losing four of their last five and will look to get back on track with a win against Burnaby. Burnaby will look to gain a big win against New Westminster because with a win Burnaby will move into a tie with Langley for first place in the WLA.

The first meeting between these two teams turned into a shootout as Burnaby won 15-11. In their last meeting Burnaby was able to gain the edge due to their offense being able to generate chances on net as Burnaby outshot New Westminster 59-30. Burnaby also benefitted from great play from Scott Jones on offense as he had 3 goals and 3 assists. New Westminster got an equally outstanding performance from star Jeff Zywicki who had 4 goals and 3 assists which allowed New Westminster to keep the game close. If their first meeting was any indication WLA fans should be in for a barn burner on Thursday night.

New Westminster in order to win this game must be dramatically better on defense then they were in their last meeting with Burnaby. New Westminster cannot allow Burnaby to almost double their shots on net again because if they do they will find themselves once again on the losing end. New Westminster will need to find a way to limit Burnaby’s ability to generate offensive chances. New Westminster should try to force turnovers and take advantage in the transition game as they have one of the best offenses in the league. New Westminster will rely on Jeff Zywicki and Ilija Gajic to carry the offensive load. New Westminster will hope Tyler Richards can continue his strong play and frustrate Burnaby’s offense. If New Westminster is  disciplined on defense and can force turnovers they will have a great chance to win this game.

Burnaby will once again want to generate lots of shots on net as they will want to test Tyler Richards in net for New Westminster and hope that he cracks. Burnaby will need to be good on defense and will rely on defenseman Matt Beers to shut down Jeff Zywicki which will limit New Westminster’s offensive chances. Burnaby will need to be physical on defense and make New Westminster pay for every chance on net. On offense Burnaby will need Dane Stevens and Scott Jones to take advantage of New Westminster’s weak defense and generate scoring chances. Burnaby will  rely on Joe Bell in net and  hope he can rebound from an off game against Maple Ridge. Burnaby will have their best chance to win if they can keep sustained offensive pressure on New Westminster goalie Tyler Richards.

This game is an important one for New Westminster as a win will move them into a tie for second place in the league but a loss will put them further behind the pack. Burnaby will need a win to move away from the pack and keep pace with the first place Langley Thunder. The game starts at 7:45 pacific time and can be watched on playfullscreen.com