High Five: Bell leads the way in impressive Sea Spray victory

by Gary Ahuja

Keegan Bell (#32) is congratulated by teammates Zac Christianson and John Hofseth after one of his five goals in an 18-11 Sea Spray victory over the Shooting Eagles in week four Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre on January 8. Gary Ahuja Langley Events Centre photos

Keegan Bell spent Friday night on the active roster for the National Lacrosse League’s Vancouver Warriors but was a healthy scratch, watching from the sidelines as his Warriors teammates fell to the Colorado Mammoth.

Saturday afternoon, Bell played a starring role for the Sea Spray Lacrosse Club, scoring five times and setting up two other goals in his team’s 18-11 victory over the Shooting Eagles Lacrosse Club in week four Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre.

Was Bell’s seven-point outburst (and first star honours) motivated by not getting the call to play for the Warriors the night before?

“It is just me playing my game. I am not really thinking about proving anything to anybody,” he offered. “I just come out here and play for my team, whatever jersey I have on. I got the opportunity to play today and luckily things went my way.”

Saturday’s game did not begin very well for the Sea Spray as they were trailing 3-1 less than four minutes and were down 4-3 at the first-quarter mark. But the team scored seven goals in the second to lead 10-6 at the half and after the Shooting Eagles cut the deficit to 11-8 with a quarter to play, the Sea Spray responded with another seven-goal outburst in the fourth to put the game out of reach.

“The guys were just shooting well and playing hard. We were preaching on the bench to stay disciplined and focus on our game and that paid off in the end. The guys bought into it,” said Sea Spray coach Andy Ogilvie.

The second and fourth quarters – when a team is forced to make a long change and can be burned in transition – were the turning point.

“We have a good group of guys and they work hard and they are talented, but we have to get in better shape,” said Shooting Eagles coach Adam Smith.

“We got outworked today and transition is like a measurement of that. Transition and loose balls, they are the two measurements of being outworked and we lost both of those. That is the bottom line: we just got outworked.”

Leading the way for the Sea Spray transition was Bell, who usually plays as a forward but has been in a defence/transition role for the team. Bell also spent some shifts on offence as well, resulting in a season-high seven points. For the season, he has eight goals and a dozen points in four games.

“The boys just found me, there wasn’t much to that. I was given good opportunities to score and luckily some of them dropped,” Bell said.

While Bell led the way with seven points, he had plenty of help from his teammates with Tyler Kirkby – the game’s third star – scoring four times and finishing with six points, while Adam Dickson (one goal, three assists) and John Hofseth (two goals, two assists) each having four-point games. Parker Kump (one

goal, two assists), Geordie Phillips (two goals, one assist) and Eli Batt (three assists) all registering three-point games. Ryan Heard and Dalton Lupul rounded out the scoring. In goal, Lee Jackman replaced Ashton Leclair in the first quarter and finished with 34 saves on 42 shots.

Dean Fairall was the game’s second star after scoring a hat trick and posting a game-high nine points for the Shooting Eagles. Greg Lunde (two goals, four assists), Mark Yingling (two goals, three assists) and Jake Foster (two goals, two assists) each had big games while Coady Adamson (one goal, one assist) and Dylan Lacroix (one goal) rounded out the team’s scoring. Andrew Gallant finished with 40 saves on 58 shots.

The Sea Spray (3-1) next face the other week four winner as they battle the Black Fish (1-3) on Sunday, January 16 at 1:00pm in week five action while the Shooting Eagles (1-3) face the Grizzlies (3-1) later that same day at 4:00pm. Both games are at Langley Events Centre.