Isles go east for big deal
Junior 'A' lacrosse team acquires high scoring Cam Milligan from Peterborough
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="316"] Delta’s Jon Phillips surveys his options while PoCo’s Ty Goff puts pressure on him during a game last Saturday in Ladner. The Islanders dropped a decision to the Saints but are currently tied for second place. Photograph By Gord Goble[/caption]
MARK BOOTH / DELTA OPTIMIST
JUNE 29, 2016 12:00 AM
The Delta Islanders have gone east for their biggest acquisition in franchise history as the B.C. Junior "A" Lacrosse League roster deadline looms.
The Islanders have acquired Peterborough Lakers star Cam Milligan in a cash transaction. The high-scoring righthander was expected to be at practice today and debut this weekend in home games against Port Coquitlam and Victoria.
Milligan was second in scoring in the Ontario Junior "A" Lacrosse League last year with 98 points in 20 games. He had compiled 45 points in nine games this season after rejoining the team from the University of Vermont.
The 21-year-old recently requested a trade to play for a contender in his final year of junior.
The Islanders are gunning for their first-ever Minto Cup berth. The top two teams from the BCJALL will advance to the national showcase thanks to the tournament taking place at the Langley Events Centre this summer.
"Cam is an outstanding playmaker who has the ability to make everyone else on the floor better," said Islanders assistant GM and head coach Greg Rennie. "He is a great distributor of the ball and can also score goals. He is like a quarterback out there and we are thrilled to have him."
Delta (12-5) is currently tied for second place with New West after losing three of its last four games, including a 10-8 setback to fourth place PoCo last Saturday in Ladner. The team's struggles of late suggests Rennie is far from done with the league trade deadline set for Canada Day.
He hinted three more players could be joining Milligan in the line-up this weekend. The club already bolstered its offence last week by acquiring Aidan Milburn from the Burnaby Lakers for future considerations. He had a hat trick on Saturday.
"They are making my job easy," said Rennie, regarding the flurry of trade activity. "We didn't come out ready against PoCo and didn't play well the other night in Langley (a 15-13 win) either. For some reason, there is too much entitlement in our dressing room right now. The guys aren't hungry enough and that has to change."
The Islanders will likely need to win two of their final three games to hold off the Salmonbellies for second place. Their reward would be having home floor advantage in a bestof-seven semi-final series with New West that will determine a Minto Cup berth. Seven-time defending champion Coquitlam Adanacs (17-0) are a virtual lock for the other. The Islanders proved what they are capable of in a spirited 11-10 loss to the Adanacs 10 days ago that saw them enjoy 60-40 advantage in shots. However, Delta showed its inconsistency by being blasted 16-8 by a sub-.500 Victoria team one day later. "We really struggle at times getting the ball out of our own end," Rennie said. "Teams know that and are jumping all over us. We need to be better and it starts Saturday."
Boxla bits... Milligan's arrival fills a void on the right side with second-year standout Tre Leclaire unavailable for the next three weeks. The 2015 rookie-of-the-year is playing for Canada at the World U19 Field Lacrosse Championships July 7 to 16 in Coquitlam.
© 2016 Delta Optimist