Salmonbellies struggle to score against A's
The New Westminster Salmonbellies barely avoided being the victims of the first Western Lacrosse Association shutout in nearly two decades.
Coquitlam Adanacs goalie Nick Rose made 38 saves and only allowed Mike Berekoff’s third-period marker to get by him as the hometown A’s down the ’Bellies 5-1 Saturday.
There have only been two shutouts in league history, the last coming on May 23, 1993 when the Victoria Shamrocks shutout Burnaby 10-0. The only other one was by New Westminster’s Les Norman in 1962.
After starting the season with three wins, the Salmonbellies have lost their next three.
Two former ’Bellies came back to haunt their old team in the old familiar haunt of Queen’s Park Arena. New West native Kerry Susheski notched a natural hat trick in a 6:31 span in the first period and Athan Iannucci put up six points as the reigning WLA champion Langley Thunder dumped the Salmonbellies 12-8 last Thursday.
New West opened he game with goals by Ilija Gajic and Sean Robinson in the first 50 seconds before Susheski struck with his three, followed by another by Lewis Ratcliff before the first period was over. After Ratcliff’s goal tempers flared with New West’s Kyle Ross being given a game misconduct on top of a fighting major. Langley’s Alex Turner, a former Jr. ’Bellie was given a five-minute highsticking major and New West defender Curtis Hodgson was assessed a two-minute slashing minor.
Iannucci assisted on the final three goals of the period and added two more late in the third period to go along with a second-period power play goal. Ratcliff, who like Iannucci is a former WLA scoring champion, also had a big night with three goals and four assists.
Alex Gajic had two goals and two assists for the Salmonbellies while brother Ilija had a goal and three assists. Their older brother, Nenad, also scored for New West with others going to Jordan McBride, Martin Cummings, Corbyn Tao and Sean Robinson.
Langley extended its lead to 6-2 in the second period, but New West narrowed the deficit to 8-7 midway through the third period before the Thunder scored four of the game’s final five goals.
New West outshot Langley 48-45 with Brodie McDonald making 40 saves for the Thunder and Tyler Richards 33 for the ’Bellies.
The Salmonbellies (3-3) were to play the undefeated Victoria Shamrocks (5-0) at Queen’s Park on Thursday. They will be in Nanaimo (2-3-1) on Sunday before playing host to the Burnaby Lakers (3-2-2) next Thursday at 7:45 p.m.