The Delta Islanders would love to be back in the Ladner Leisure Centre one more time on Saturday night.
"These people have been great all the way along and the boys get so pumped from all the cheering," said Islanders head coach Shaun Springett. "When we get back here, I hope this place is packed and loud as hell."
The Islanders still have plenty of work to do if they want to be playing a deciding game in their best-of-five B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League semi-final affair with the New West Salmonbellies. After an impressive 14-4 home floor win Wednesday, Delta will need a similar performance tonight at Queen's Park Arena to extend this unpredictable series.
New West roared back to win the opener 14-13 in overtime, then blasted the Islanders 17-9 two nights later. Just when the locals looked poised for a prompt exit, they responded with an outstanding effort, from start to finish, in front of their biggest crowd of the season.
Led by the sizzling stick of Mike Mallory, the Islanders raced out to 8-3 lead by the 7: 49 mark of the second period.
Mallory scored six of the goals, including four straight in a span of less than five minutes
The hosts took a 11-3 advantage into the third period and cruised the rest of the way, led by the 38-save performance of goaltender Peter Dubenski and easily their best defensive effort of the series.
Following the game two debacle, Springett elected to tinker with his line-up, sitting a trio of third-year players. Local product Sam Clare's return from a family commitment provided a spark, so did second-year defender Dan McDermott who was fresh off helping Canada win silver at the World U19 Field Lacrosse Championships in Finland. Intermediate standout Cody Nass also was added and scored his third goal of the series.
"We have 27 kids and it's going to take them all (to be successful in the playoffs)," added Springett. "We had the close (game one loss) then kind of thought we were something we weren't and got spanked. It brought us back down to earth and everyone showed up with their work boots on tonight.
"We know it's another win or go home game on Friday. We just have to take it one period at a time and the most important thing right now is showing up for the first 20 minutes."
Game five would be played at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Visit www.bcjunioralacrosse.com for live scoring updates.