10-0 run helps Sea Spray ground Shooting Eagles

by Gary Ahuja

James Rahe scored four goals and finished with nine points as the Sea Spray defeated the Shooting Eagles 20-15 on Jan. 31 at Langley Events Centre in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action. Gary Ahuja photo

The race atop the standings just got a whole lot tighter.

The Sea Spray handed the Shooting Eagles a 20-15 defeat on Wednesday night at Langley Events Centre, leaving both teams with identical 7-4 records. Four games remain in the Arena Lacrosse League West Division regular season.

The Shooting Eagles were down two at the half but opened the third with three straight goals to pull ahead, but their lead was short-lived as the Sea Spray blew things wide open with 10 goals in a span of just over 11 minutes.

The five-goal margin of victory was the largest of the season for the Sea Spray.

“Definitely huge momentum moving forward (and) to get one where we had a little bit of comfort was definitely nice,” said Tyler Ewen of finally beating the Shooting Eagles for the first time in four tries.

“We do tend to take quite a few shots that don’t go anywhere, so today was just good shot selection and moving the ball well. Everyone was seeing each other and just clicking,” he added about their third-quarter dominance.

Ewen had five goals and seven points and the outburst comes on the heels of the last game, where he did not find the back of the net. He said his teammates have encouraged him to keep firing away, even if the results are not always there.

Also helping the Sea Spray offence was James Rahe, who made his season debut last game, adding another dimension to the team’s offence. Rahe had four goals and nine points in the win.

“It helps a lot. He’s got all the experience in the world and it is like having a coach as well. He will direct us on the floor … he is a big help for our offence,” Ewen said of having Rahe back.

ALL West leading scorer Tyler Kirkby continued his torrid pace, registering another seven assists in the win. He leads in both assists (69) and points (84) and is averaging 8.4 points per game. Both totals are already all-time highs for the three-year-old ALL West.

The Sea Spray’s Rahe, Ewen and Gordie Phillips were the game’s three stars as Phillips was dominant on face-offs, going 27-9. He also had a goal and an assist.

The rest of the offence came courtesy of Kirkby (1-7), Adam Dickson (3-2), Jordan Gabriele (1-4), Lukas Nielsen (2-2), Kordell Primus (2-2) and Aidan Ellis (1-0). Keegan Melenychuk stopped 48 of 63 shots.

For the Shooting Eagles, this marked a second straight defeat, the first time this season they have dropped consecutive games. The previous game saw them tied at the break but shutout in the second half, falling 17-8. And on Wednesday, they were ahead by one early in the third before surrendering 10 straight goals.

Dylan McIntosh and Declan Fitzpatrick each had a hat trick and four points for the Shooting Eagles, while Mark Yingling scored twice and set up three others. Spencer Bromley, Isaac Richmond and Coady Adamson all had a goal and three helpers and Doug Porter (1-1), Jacob Dowell (1-0) and Aiden Hindson (1-0) rounded out the scoring. Both goalies saw action in net for the team with Brody Harris stopping 37 of 53 shots while Tristan Lomas made 10 saves on 14 shots.

Up next: The Shooting Eagles (7-4) are next in action against the Grizzlies (2-9) on February 6 while the Sea Spray (7-4) play the Black Fish (6-5) on February 7. Both games are at Langley Events Centre with 7:00pm start times.