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Delta Islanders fall just short in season opener goal explosion

First regular season junior "A" lacrosse game in two years sees hosts nearly rally all the way back from 10-2 second period deficit
Junior Islanders Langley
Delta Islanders opened the 2022 B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League season with a wild 19-16 loss to Langley on Saturday in Ladner.

A huge goal output wasn’t enough for the Delta Islanders to crack the win column in the opening weekend of the B.C. Junior “A” Lacrosse League season.

The Islanders saw their comeback bid fall short in a wild 19-16 loss to the Langley Thunder on Saturday night at the Ladner Leisure Centre.

The league has resumed regular season play after a two-year pause due to the pandemic.

Delta looked like it was going to get blown out of the arena when the Thunder opened up a 5-1 lead after 20 minutes and increased the margin to 10-2 by the 3:46 mark of the second period. That’s when the hosts came to life, led by a talented young core that had major roles in the Islanders’ success at the Junior “B” Tier One level the past couple of seasons.

The Islanders would outscore the Thunder 10-3 over an 18-minute stretch and were suddenly within a goal in the early stages of the third period.

Langley staved off the comeback by reeling off five more unanswered goals but still needed a late power play tally from Cody Malawsky to finally put the game away.

It was an outstanding Delta debut for Silas Richmond. The Ladner native, who is headed to the University at Albany this fall on a field lacrosse scholarship, finished with five goals and two assists.

Two-sport standout Ben McDonald, who is playing football at the University of Calgary, added four goals while Keegan Kozack, fresh off his sophomore season at Canisius College in Buffalo, chipped in with four points, including a pair of goals.

Throw in another two goals from 2020 first overall draft pick Calum Munro, along with a single tally from Manhattan College sophomore Rhys Porteous, and it’s a good reflection of the players that will be carrying this team offensively for at least the next three seasons.

Ryan Flack rounded out the Delta scoring while goalies Ashton LeClair and Braeden Washington combined to make 47 saves as Langley enjoyed a 66-54 edge in shots.

The Islanders continue their 14-game regular season schedule Saturday afternoon when they visit the Nanaimo Timbermen before returning home to host the Victoria Shamrocks on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.