WLA Three Stars: Playoff Edition


1st Star – Corey Small, Victoria Shamrocks

With a chance to close out their first round series where it seems like there’s more fists flying than lacrosse balls, Corey Small has produced enough to lead Victoria to an unsurprising 3-0 series advantage over Maple Ridge.

Small didn’t figure too heavily into Victoria’s blistering 8-0 start at home in game 3, but was the game’s first star a few nights prior with four goals and an assist. Game two was a crucial game in the series; if Maple Ridge won, it wouldn’t put so much pressure on them to lose game 3. Alas, the Shamrocks are playing at another level from the Burrards and Small is playing a huge role in it.

2nd Star – Keegan Bal, New Westminster Salmonbellies

I noted last week that I thought Logan Schuss would be able to keep up his great end to the regular season and he did that, scoring six goals in an opening-game 15-12 win over Langley. But Keegan Bal has arguably looked the most dangerous through the first three games.

Bal scored three goals in a 10-goal Bellies run that turned the score from 4-2 to 12-4 over the course of 30 minutes in game 1. That’s a major reason why New West looks like a team that can go to battle with Victoria over a seven gamer. He added a pair of four point nights in games two and three.

Bal didn’t join the team until later in the season but is proving to be a potential game-changer offensively. He sits second in WLA playoff scoring behind Small in goals with 7 and has also added 7 assists.

3rd Star – Aaron Bold, Victoria Shamrocks

Bold has been phenomenal in the three games so far this series. He’s got a great .853 save percentage and only allowed three goals in almost 50 minutes of game action in Saturday night’s 13-5 win.

He’s largely carried over his success with the Edmonton (Saskatchewan) Rush, where he was one of the top goalies all season. Although the Burrards offence has been shorthanded for game 3 and parts of the other two, you can only ask your goalie to stop what’s in front of him and he’s done really well in doing so.