Gillis explodes for seven goals as Black Fish head into post-season on winning note

by Gary Ahuja

Seven goals and 10 points from Brian Gillis (#26) led the Black Fish to a 17-11 win over the Sea Spray in the Arena Lacrosse League West Division regular season finale for both teams on March 17 at Langley Events Centre. Ryan Molag photo

Brian Gillis is a fan of March 17.

“Must have been a little luck of the Irish today with St. Paddy’s Day; it’s a great day,” Gillis said outside the victorious Black Fish dressing room.

Gillis – who represented Ireland in 2019 at the World Lacrosse Box Championships – was the game’s first star following a seven-goal, 10-point performance in the Black Fish’s 17-11 win over the Sea Spray.

By his recollection, the seven goals marked a career high, although he did post a sock-trick (six goals) in an Arena Lacrosse League game back in 2022.

“We were moving the ball well on ‘O’. We were swinging the ball lots; guys had lots of energy, flying around, getting into the middle and shooting the ball well,” Gillis said.

“We played a pretty good team game today, all the way from the back with Humps (goaltender Brandon Humphrey) in net and up to the offensive end.”

It was the final regular season game with the Sea Spray finishing in second spot at 8-7 while the Black Fish are third at 7-8. Both teams already knew they would be facing one another in the ALL West semi-finals on March 24 at 1:00pm.

“All year we have struggled with our confidence with our offence being consistent, but I think they are starting to get the swagger and today was the perfect day for us,” said Black Fish coach Rod Jensen.

The Black Fish scored the first four goals of the game and trailed just once, 6-5, late in the second quarter. The teams went to the locker room tied at 6 before a 4-1 third quarter put the Black Fish ahead for good.

While Gillis led the offence with his seven goals and 10 points, Laszlo Henning finished with four goals and seven points and Connor Watson had eight assists. Ethan M’Lot (2-4) and Chase McIntyre (2-0) both had two-goals games with Josh Mills (1-1) and Temeke7 Gottfriedsen (1-0) completing the team’s scoring.

Brandon Humphrey made 33 saves on 44 shots for the Black Fish. Both Sea Spray goalies saw action as they were outshot 60-44 with Lee Jackman stopping 36 of 49 shots and Nate Faccin making seven saves on 11 shots.

James Rahe (3-2) and Tyler Ewen (3-0) both scored hat tricks in the loss while Tyler Kirkby scored twice and set up five goals. Adam Dickson (1-1), Lukas Nielsen (1-0) and Kordell Primus (1-0) had the other Sea Spray goals.