A little adversity proved to be no problem for the B.C. Junior “B” Tier 1 Lacrosse League champion Delta Islanders.
Coming off an 18-6 game three shellacking and playing without their leading scorer, the Islanders dug deep for an 8-6 road win over the Coquitlam Adanacs on Thursday night.
The regular season champion Adanacs seemed to have seized the momentum in a best-of-five series that saw the lower seed Islanders host the opening two games due to arena scheduling conflicts and produce a pair of impressive wins.
Coquitlam responded with the penalty-filled game three victory and no longer had to worry about league scoring champion Ben McDonald who was off on an earlier planned holiday.
Instead, Nathan Wilson’s squad showcased the defensive side of its game to get the job done — limiting the high-scoring Adanacs to just one goal over a 40-plus minute stretch thanks to a terrific 45-save performance from Ashton Leclair.
It was 2-0 Coquitlam when the visitors took control on two goals each from Peyton Hooper and Jared Moloci, along with singles from Cody Hoegg, Rhys Porteous and Matt Burt to make it 7-3 with 7:42 remaining. The Adanacs answered with three straight before a huge hat trick insurance goal from Hooper.
The Semiahmoo product was the Islanders’ second pick (15th overall) in January’s B.C. Junior “A” Lacrosse League Midget Draft. The contributions from the younger talent throughout the post-season run was perhaps the most encouraging thing of all as Delta looks to gain traction in the BCJALL after missing the playoffs for a third straight year.
The team’s top five scorers — McDonald, Porteous, Keegan Kozack and Devyn Zunti — joined Hooper as first-year juniors.
LeClair is in his second-season and poised to step up to the top tier in 2020.
The club even relied on key contributions from Midget call-ups. Noah Wickett and Burt played the series clincher. Burt finished with six points in three games.
The Islanders roster also features: Conrad Squarek, Max Duchnycz, Reilly Kee, Kris Anhert, Lucas Hooymans, Zander Gould, Trace Recksy, Max Yingling, Jackson Tutaluke, Kevin Sobey, Jared Beaton, Owen Borthwick, Isaac Richmond, Brendan Szabo, Dylan Nishiyama and Brayden Kirk.
A pair of Junior “A” Islanders will be part of the upcoming Minto Cup at the Langley Events Centre. Haiden Dickson (Coquitlam) and goaltender Brody Harris (Victoria) helped their teams lock up berths to the national championships. Both were dealt at the July 1 roster deadline.
Dickson is third in Adanacs playoff scoring with 21 points in seven games. The Adanacs continued their dominance in the BCJALL by winning their 10th title in 11 years with a 2-0 sweep of the Shamrocks.