Storied Queen’s Park Arena is getting another Game 7.
The Western Lacrosse Association finale is going the distance, with the New Westminster Salmonbellies hosting the Langley Thunder at their 93-year-old rink with its trademark wooden floor Tuesday night (7:30 p.m.).
Tuesday’s winner plays host to the Ontario champion Six Nations Chiefs in the best-of-seven Mann Cup Senior A national championship series starting Sept. 8.
“Now we have to bounce back. It’s Game 7, do-or-die,” Langley coach Curt Malawsky told reporters after New Westminster’s 9-6 win Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre in Game 6 that extended the series. “This is outstandi’ng for B.C. lacrosse. Queen’s Park will be jammed.”
Zach Higgins made 46 saves in the Salmonbellies’ net to lead the visitors Saturday.
“He was real good. We had some really, really quality chances early in the game,” Malawsky said. “We were down 4-0 but I did honestly feel we were outplaying them. If you go back and look at the film, we had like 10-bell ringers in front of the net, and he played really well.”
The Thunder cut the lead to 6-5 at the 6:58 mark of the third period, when Robert Church rifled a shot past Higgins high glove side for his second goal of the game. That was as close as they would come. New Westminster restored the two-goal cushion at 11:56, with Will Malcom cutting to the front of the net and converting a feed from the corner by Noah Armitage.
Mitch Jones had four assists in the winning cause. Curtis Dickson counted one goal and three assists for Langley. Frank Scigliano made 32 saves in the Thunder net.
The two teams are loaded with stars from the wintertime National Lacrosse League. The Vancouver Warriors — who are owned by the Vancouver Canucks and play out of Rogers Arena — recently signed Malawsky to be coach and general manager. One of his first free agent additions was Kevin Crowley, who happens to be with the Salmonbellies. Other Warriors with New Westminster include Keegan Bal, Brett Mydske and Ryan Martel.
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