The stage is set for tonight's second place showdown in the B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League but only after some late heroics by the Delta Islanders.
The locals pulled within a single point of the New Westminster Salmonbellies with a dramatic 11-10 overtime victory over the Langley Thunder on Monday at Sungod Arena. The Islanders and Salmonbellies meet this evening in Ladner (8 p.m.) with the hosts needing to win their final three games to have a shot at their best regular season finish in franchise history.
That possibility looked bleak when the Thunder broke an 8-8 tie with 2: 20 remaining and were on the brink of their first win over Delta this season. However, the Islanders answered in the dying moments when rookie Mike Henry netted the equalizer with nine seconds remaining.
Veteran Logan Schuss then capped another spectacular evening in overtime, scoring both his team's goals just 13 seconds apart to erase a 10-9 Langley lead. The third-year lefty finish with nine points, including six goals. Mike Mallory added three goals and two assists. Eli McLaughlin matched Henry's production with a goal and one assist.
Winning goaltender Peter Dubinski made 37 saves as Delta outshot the visitors 58-47.
Two nights earlier, the Islanders outlasted the Port Coquitlam Saints 13-10 thanks to three unanswered goals in the final six minutes. Schuss broke the deadlock with 13: 33 remaining with his sixth goal of the night. McLaughlin and Northway added insurance tallies. Mallory had two goals and four assists. Rookie netminder Will Schwan made 33 saves.
Boxla bits... Islanders GM Jamie Scott made two deals prior to the league's Canada Day roster freeze. He shored up the right side of the attack by acquiring second-year Ryan Watson from the Burnaby Lakers. The club also sent Anthony Brito to the Coquitlam Adanacs. Brito had seen limited action this season after having a key role in helping the Delta Ice Hawks win the Pacific International Junior Hockey League championship back in March.