Ladner Pioneers are 60 minutes away from taking their perfect season to Alberta for the 2022 President’s Cup national senior “B” lacrosse championships.
Ladner took a stranglehold of its best-of-five West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association final series against the North Shore Indians with a 13-5 road win on Thursday, after opening with an 18-4 romp two nights earlier.
Game three goes Saturday at Sungod Arena in North Delta at 7 p.m. A victory would mean representing B.C. at the nationals, slated for Aug. 28 to Sept. 3 in Leduc, just south of Edmonton.
The Pioneers didn’t waste any time in taking control of game two with goals from Mike Mallory, Travis Irving and a pair from Zach Herreweyers to open up a 4-0 lead.
The Indians did manage to cut the margin to 5-3 before another Ladner goal outburst followed, including Ryan Benesch’s first of the night with just a second left in the opening frame.
WCSLA regular season scoring champion Tyler Pace led the winners with six assists. Phil Caputo and Herreweyers each notched hat tricks. Jake Carey, Tyler Kirkby and Nathan Henare each added singles. Logan Schuss had three assists while Matt Hills made 27 saves in goal.
Schuss paced the attack in the series opener with 10 points, including a hat trick. Mallory and Herreweyers each enjoyed seven point nights.
The Pioneers are poised to make their fourth consecutive trip to nationals, having finished sixth the last time the tournament took place in 2019.
A B.C. team has not won the President’s Cup since Ladner pulled off the feat in 2004. Nanaimo and the former Tri-Cities franchise has reached the gold medal game during the B.C. dry spell.