Grizzlies improve to 3-0
The Grizzlies posted a 13-9 win on Sunday at Langley Events Centre, a third-straight victory for the team to open the Arena Lacrosse League season. Ryan Molag LEC photo
A third straight game and a third straight opponent held to single digits in goals equalled yet another victory for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies improved to 3-0 in the Arena Lacrosse League West Division thanks to a 13-9 win over the Shooting Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Langley Events Centre. The Shooting Eagles sit at 1-2.
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 5-1 lead early in the second quarter and held a multi-goal advantage the rest of the way, leading by seven late in the third quarter. The Shooting Eagles did manage to close the gap thanks to a 4-0 run, making the score a more respectable 13-9.
Goaltender Kyle Mooney made 40 saves on 49 shots as he played – and won – his third consecutive start. For the season, he has an 8.03 goals against average and an .830 save percentage.
“Obviously Mooney has been standing on his head, but defensively, we our sticking to our system and playing hard. We are communicating and everyone is going their job and it is paying off,” said Grizzlies coach Zack Porter.
“As long as we stick out our system, we know that we can come out on top.”
With Mooney shutting the door, Pearson Willis paced the offence with four goals and six points. The team’s leading scorer – he has nine goals and 14 points – he credited the Grizzlies defence and transition for their efforts in taking the pressure off the offence having to post big numbers for the win.
“Our goalie has been amazing and we have some unbelievable D: they can transition, they can put the ball in the net and they can stop big plays when we need them to stop big plays,” he said.
In addition to Willis’ six-point game, both Mitchell Nolet (2+2) and Erik Maas (1+3) had four-point games while Sekawnee Baker and Brian Smith both scored once and set up two others. Connor Whyte, with a pair, Aidan Baker and Joseph Callard had the other goals.
At the other end, Garrett Winter scored once and set up three goals and Spencer Bromley had a hat trick for the Shooting Eagles. Mark Yingling finished with three assists while Tomas Jeck (1+1), Coady Adamson (1+1), Dylan Lacroix, Cole Paciejewski and Rhys Blake each registered a goal. Connor Nichol finished 37 saves on 50 shots.
The game’s three stars were Willis, Baker and Bromley.
With the teams now having faced every opponent and the Grizzlies established as the front-runners with their 3-0 record – the other three each have a 1-2 mark – Willis said they are not looking beyond the next game.
“We are thinking one game at a time, we are focusing on next week, we are focused on practice coming up this week, trying to get better, work on the little things, put a full 60 minutes together because after every game you can pick apart, you can take away, so we are just trying to get better every single week,” he said.
Grizzlies goaltender Kyle Mooney backstopped the team to a third-straight win to open the Arena Lacrosse League season. Ryan Molag LEC photo