It's been a breakthrough season that has got the attention of the lacrosse community, yet the Delta Islanders aren't patting themselves on the back just yet.
A thrilling come-from-behind five game series win over the New West Salmonbellies has the Islanders playing in the B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League finals for the first time in franchise history. They are considered heavy underdogs against the four-time defending champion Coquitlam Adanacs who dominated three regular season meetings.
The best of seven affair opened last night in Coquitlam and continues at North Delta's Sungod Arena tomorrow night at 8 p.m.
"We will celebrate our accomplishments when the season is over," said Islanders head coach Shaun Springett following a brief practice on Monday night in Ladner.
"The fact they beat us three times is a great thing for us. There are only two teams that beat us all year (in the regular season) and they are one of them. We have something to prove and to be the best you have to beat the best.
"It's going to be tough, without a doubt. They are a very good team but so are we."
The Adanacs made short work of Delta this season thanks to huge first periods that saw them outscore the locals 14-3 over the three games.
"You have to respect their abilities," continued Springett. "If we play as a five man team defence where everybody is unison, then it's hard to beat. The difference between New West and Coquitlam is they have the ability to exploit your weaknesses more. It's a great challenge we are looking forward to."
The Islanders rallied from a 2-0 series deficit to finish off the Salmonbellies, including a 11-10 win on Saturday night. The hosts trailed 8-5 before roaring back, capped by third period goals from Logan Schuss and Mike Henry just 34 seconds apart. One night earlier, the Islanders also came up with a huge third period at Queen's Park Arena, scoring three unanswered goals in an 8-7 win. Sam Clare's tally with 3: 39 remaining proved to be the difference.
The deciding game was played in front of another big crowd in Ladner that had a significant role in the home team's comeback.
"When we were down 8-5, people started screaming and yelling," added Springett. "It was just what we needed to get everyone going. It was electric in there.
"Hopefully all those fans will come to Sungod and we get some North Delta fans out too who haven't been able to make it to our games. We need to have home floor advantage because it has been huge for us."
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