Black Fish bounce back, earn first victory

by Gary Ahuja

The Black Fish celebrate a first quarter goal during their 12-11 win over the Sea Spray on November 26 in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre. Gary Ahuja photo

Limited to three goals in the first half – despite firing 33 shots on goal – the message was simple from Rod Jensen.

“We are playing well, we are getting opportunities, we just have to keep shooting and hope to get a few by him,” the Black Fish coach said of the messaging to his team.

And his team responded with nine goals – including four of the final five in the fourth quarter – to earn a 12-11 win over the Sea Spray on Sunday at Langley Events Centre in Arena Lacrosse League West Division play. Both teams now sit at 1-2 on the season.

“We just stuck with it and persevered and snuck one out in the end there,” Jensen said.

The Black Fish were coming off a week 2 loss which saw them surrender 29 goals against. But Sunday’s contest saw the season debut of Brandon Humphrey – the two-time ALL West Division Most Outstanding Goaltender.

“Brandon Humphrey is a phenomenal goalie (and) he certainly makes them more confident,” Jensen explained. 

With Humphrey keeping the score close – the teams were tied at two after one period and it was 5-3 Sea Spray at the half – that gave the Black Fish the time they needed as they significantly outshot their opponent (62-39), cutting the lead to 9-8 after a quarter and then closing the game on a 4-1 run for the victory.

Ethan M’Lot struck for the winner with just 83 seconds remaining, breaking a tie game, on a set-up from Connor Watson. Watson would be named the first star following his four-goal, eight-point performance.

Jordan Roberts (2-1) and Ryan Jensen (2-0) each scored twice in the win and Ryan Jones (1-3) also had a multi-point game. Brian Gillis and Laszlo Henning had the other Black Fish goals.

Brandon Humphrey – who was making his season debut – stopped 27 of 38 shots for the victory.

For the Sea Spray, Tyler Kirkby finished with three goals and five assists to match Watson’s eight-point effort. Kirkby was the second star of the game. Adam Dickson added a pair of goals, Eli Batt scored once and Lukas Nielsen, Joshua Yachney, Tyler Ewen, Jordan Gabriele and Liam Hoogstraten each had a goal and a helper.

Lee Jackman finished the night with 50 saves as the Sea Spray were outshot 62-39.