Humphrey, Black Fish lock down Shooting Eagles

by Gary Ahuja

Brandon Humphrey and the Black Fish pitched a second-half shutout in their team's 17-8 win over the first-place Shooting Eagles in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre on Jan. 28. Gary Ahuja photo

A second-half shutout paved the way as the Black Fish grounded the first-place Shooting Eagles.

Tied 8-8 with 30 minutes to play, the Black Fish scored the only goals of the second half, striking nine times for a 17-8 win on Sunday at Langley Events Centre to wrap up Week 10 action for the Arena Lacrosse League West Division.

The Black Fish evened their record at 5-5 while the Shooting Eagles sit at 7-3. Two of those losses have come at the hands of the Black Fish.

Brandon Humphrey made 28 of his 51 saves in the third and fourth quarters as the Black Fish goaltender was the second star, finishing with an .864 save percentage.

“Zero, that is not to be expected, but when your goalie is playing well like that, it is pretty easy to hold a team to a score like that,” said Black Fish coach Ian Poole.

The teams were tied 3-3 at the first-quarter break before the Shooting Eagles went ahead 8-6. But the Black Fish scored twice before the period let out while their opponent was held scoreless over the final 32:22.

“Putting four quarters together, we have kind of struggled to do that, so at half when it was tied, we told them we just carry it forward and good things will happen,” Poole said.

“We needed a bounce-back; if we play a complete 60, we know we can beat any team in this league,” said Black Fish captain Connor Watson.

“It starts with the back end and the goalie. Humphrey really held it down and our defence played how we wanted to play: taking away the shooting lanes and getting out on their hands. They have some good shooters and we let them have their shots in the first half. Second half they really tightened up. It starts back there and then it’s contagious on the front end.”

Watson was the first star after scoring four goals and finishing with nine points and he leads the ALL West with 23 goals. Laszlo Henning also scored four times and had five points and Josh Mills had a hat trick. The rest of the offence came courtesy of Chase McIntyre (1-2), Temeke7 Gottfriedsen (1-1), Jordan Roberts (1-1), Reese Barnes (1-1), Logan Melish (1-1) and Xander Cabeca (1-0). Ethan M’Lot had eight assists.

For the Shooting Eagles, Dylan Lacroix – the third star – led the way with four goals and one assist and Lacroix and Henning sit tied for second in goals with 21. But Lacroix was the lone Eagle to record a multi-goal game. Declan Fitzpatrick (1-2), Spencer Bromley (1-1), Garret Winter (1-0) and Brandon Fitzgerald (1-0) provided the rest of the offence.

Colin Jeffrey made 22 saves on 36 shots while Brody Harris stopped seven of 10.

Up next: All four teams are right back at it with Week 11 featuring a pair of midweek games. On Tuesday (Jan. 30), it will be the Black Fish (5-5) and the Grizzlies (2-8) while the following day (Jan. 31) sees the Shooting Eagles (7-3) and the Sea Spray (6-4). Both are at Langley Events Centre and begin at 7:00pm.