WLA Preview: The New Westminster Salmonbellies Vs. The Maple Ridge Burrards

The WLA action resumes on Thursday night as the Maple Ridge Burrards take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies. These two teams have met once this season already in what was a hard fought game that New Westminster won 11-10 in overtime. Both these teams have struggled this season. Maple Ridge has only won one game all season and currently sit in last place in the WLA. New Westminster has lost their last two games and sit 6th in the league 2 points out of third place. This is an important game for New Westminster as with a win they will be right back  in contention for one of the top spots in the WLA while Maple Ridge is desperate for a win as there is still is a small chance they can make the playoffs.

Maple Ridge has struggled all year long and have lost their last two games. Maple Ridge also recently traded leading scorer Derek Lowe to Victoria for a second round pick in 2013. Maple Ridge did this trade as Lowe requested to be traded. Without Lowe it will be even harder for Maple Ridge to get into the playoffs even though their hopes are already slim. Maple Ridge in order to beat New Westminster will first and foremost need to play solid defense. Maple Ridge will need to play tight defense and grind on New Westminster’s forwards to try to wear them out. Maple Ridge will need either Chris Seidel or Drew Dickie to play  their best as they will be tested early and often by New Westminster. On offense Maple Ridge will rely heavily on Randy Daly, Brandon Bertoia, and Jarrett Davis to carry the offensive load.The biggest challenge for Maple Ridge will be for the coaches to get the team motivated for this game as the team will most likely be unmotivated due to their position in the standings. Maple Ridge will have a good chance of winning this game if they can get some goaltending and remain solid on defense.

New Westminster’s biggest problem so far this year has been winning on the road this season as they are 1 and 5 on the road but lucky for them this is a home game and they have a 4-1 record at home. New Westminster seems to play better at home so having home rink advantage in this game will give them an edge. New Westminster’s greatest strength has been their offense as opposing teams struggle to contain the trio of Jeff Zywicki, Ilija Gajic and Kevin Crowley.  If New Westminster gets their offense going early they will be in a great position to win this game as Maple Ridge has struggled defensively. New Westminster has received good goaltending from Tyler Richards and will once again expect him to shutdown Maple Ridge’s offense. New Westminster should be able to win this game if they play good defense  and spread the ball on offense. New Westminster needs these two points in order to keep pace in the WLA standings so expect them to come out fired up and willing to do anything to get the win.

The action begins at 7:45pm pacific time and can be seen as always on playfullscreen.com.