The Delta Islanders are in the driver's seat for a third place finish in the B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League but a huge obstacle awaits them in their final regular season home game on Saturday night.
The Islanders' 16-9 road win over the Langley Thunder on Sunday, coupled with the Victoria Shamrocks' 14-3 loss to Coquitlam Adanacs, leaves the teams tied with 11-8 records, heading into the final week of league play. Each club has three games remaining with Delta holding the tiebreaker edge thanks to winning the season series, 2-1.
The Islanders travel to Langley again on Thursday and close out their schedule on Sunday with another road game against the 7-11 Nanaimo Timbermen. In between is the daunting task of trying to hand the defending Minto Cup champions their first loss of the season. The Adanacs improved to 19-0 with their win over Victoria and will be looking to cap a perfect regular season when they visit Ladner at 7:30 p.m.
The Islanders not only lost the two previous meetings -- 17-10 and 17-10 -- they will be seeking their first win of the season against one of the league's top two teams.
The Shamrocks have a more favourable schedule with games against Nanaimo, Port Coquitlam (2-17) and Burnaby (5-13). The third place finisher not only a draws a more favourable opening round match-up but would also avoid the Adanacs in the semi-finals.
Delta improved to 9-1 against sub .500 teams with its easy win over the Thunder.
Second-year standout Logan Schuss continued his torrid pace since rejoining the club from Ohio State University -- producing 12 points, including eight goals. He now has 45 points in just six games. Mike Mallory also had big outing with three goals and seven assists as the Islanders took control by outscoring Langley 9-4 in the second period.
Michael Berekoff added five goals and four assists, while captain Ryan Keith also padded his stats with two goals and six assists. Brandon McLean and Trenton Matsuzaki had the others.
The most encouraging news of the night was goaltender Blake Duncan returning to the crease after missing the past two weeks with a concussion he picked up when a shot caught him under his mask during a pre-game warm-up. The third-year stopper made 36 stops and he will have to be at his best against the Adanacs on Saturday.