Islanders a win away from first BCJALL title
Delta can win championship on Sunday at Sungod after stunning 7-time champions Coquitlam 9-6 in game one.
The Delta Islanders can win their first-ever B.C. Junior “A” Lacrosse League championship on Sunday at Sungod Arena.
The Islanders set the stage for the biggest home game of their 14-year history by stunning the Coquitlam Adanacs with a 9-6 game one road win on Wednesday night to open the best-of-three series. It was the seven-time defending champions’ first loss in 26 games this season and Delta’s first win over the Adanacs since game two of the 2012 championship series — a span of 20 games.
The Islanders are asking the Delta lacrosse community to come out in big numbers for game two (5 p.m.) and help provide home floor advantage at the North Delta venue. The Ladner Leisure Centre is now unavailable due to ice installation.
Regardless of the result, it will also be Delta’s final home game of what has become a historic season. The league shortened the usual best-of-7 final series down to a three-game affair since both teams are already assured berths in the upcoming Minto Cup national championships at the Langley Events Centre, starting Aug. 19.
Islanders coach Greg Rennie earlier stated the importance of his team “stealing” game one if it was going to pull off a major upset and his players responded with a huge performance.
Delta jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes on goals by Jon Phillips, Evan Messenger, Javier Tudela and Nate Wade. The Adanacs answered with a big second period — peppering 27 shots at goalie Kevin Orleman and eventually tying the game at 5-5.
It was the Islanders’ turn to re-gain momentum in the third and Phillips’ second goal of the night with 8:47 left did just that. It proved to be the game winner with Intermediate call-up Liam MacDonald and Messenger adding insurance goals. Cam Milligan had opened the third period scoring.
Delta received another spectacular performance in net from Orleman who finished the night with a remarkable 52-saves. The Ontario star, who was acquired at the league trading deadline along with Milligan from back east, was also the difference maker in the Islanders’ six-game semi-final series win over New West that locked up the Minto Cup berth.
Aidan Milburn and Jayden Campbell each chipped in with two assists. Tyrell Hamer-Jackson continues to be big on face-offs, winning 12 of 17 draws.
© 2016 Delta Optimist/AUGUST 4, 2016
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