The New Westminster Salmonbellies are playing for their Mann Cup lives tonight (Tuesday) at Queen’s Park Arena and they’ll be coming in extra ornery.
The Salmonbellies thought they got a raw deal in Monday’s 8-7 Game 3 loss to the Six Nations Arena at Queen’s Park, feeling they had tied the game with 4:43 to go when Mitch Jones followed up on a Will Malcom rebound and slotted it home after Malcom had driven hard to the net and caused a pileup in front.
The referees waved the goal off initially, ruling that Malcom was in the crease. They then convened and talked about it some more before holding up the decision, much to chagrin of the Salmonbellies, who felt Malcom was pushed in by defenders.
Lyle Thompson’s tally for Six Nations 1:23 earlier stood up for winner and a 3-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Senior A box lacrosse national championship for the Ontario powerhouse Chiefs. They can clinch the Canadian club championship tonight at Queen’s Park. It’s a 7:30 p.m. start.
There were several animated discussions between Salmonbellies players and officials to wind up Game 3. The New Westminster was fired up afterwards as well.
“We had a game against Langley and the exact same thing happen. A guy gets pushed in the crease and we were told that’s it’s not National Lacrosse League rules,” said New Westminster defender Brett Mydske, pointing to the wintertime league featuring the Vancouver Warriors that most of the players also suit up in and has some slightly different interpretations. “As long as the shooter isn’t in the crease and the guy that’s pushed in there isn’t interfering with the goalie, it’s goal.”
Thompson added: “As a Chiefs guy, it’s a guy in the crease and the ball goes into the net. At the same time, you don’t know what the refs are going to call in a situation. The rules change, we have NLL refs, nobody really knows the official rules of the game.”
To have any chance to get back in this series, New Westminster needs to get its power play going. The man advantage unit went 0-for-6 Monday and now is 2-for-22 (9.1 per cent) in the series.
The Chiefs are 7-for-14 (50 per cent) on the power play. That five-goal difference on the power plays becomes even more glaring when you consider that Six Nations has only outscored New Westminster 31-25 through the first three games.
“This series could very easily be 2-1 us,” Mydske said.
Thompson had two goals and three assists for Six Nations on the night. He leads the series in goals (six) and is tied with teammate Randy Staats for tops in points (14).
The Mann Cup is the annual matchup between the best teams from B.C. and Ontario, the two main regions for box lacrosse in this country. Ontario had won 14 of the past 15 years going into this series. A Lower Mainland team hasn’t won since the 2001 Coquitlam Adanacs. The Salmonbellies have captured the most Mann Cups with 24, but their last came back in 1991. This is their eighth trip to the finals since then.
Bookmark our website and support our journalism: For up-to-the-minute B.C. news and the latest on the Canucks, B.C. Lions and Vancouver Whitecaps, add TheProvince.com to your bookmarks and sign up sign up for our free Canucks Report and other newsletters here.
You can also support our journalism by becoming a digital subscriber: For just $3.50 per week, you can get unlimited, ad-lite get unlimited, ad-lite access to The Province, The Vancouver Sun, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites. Support us by subscribing today: The Province | The Vancouver Sun.
Six Nations wins see-saw second game to go up 2-0 on New Westminster in Mann Cup
New Westminster Salmonbellies lose Mann Cup opener to Six Nations Chiefs