Mooney earns first star as Grizzlies take opener over Sea Spray

by Gary Ahuja

Grizzlies' Kobe Noda is tied up with a Sea Spray player during Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre on November 13.Ryan Molag LEC photo

Kyle Mooney stopped 37 of 44 shots while Sekawnee Baker had a hat trick and seven points in leading the Grizzlies to a season-opening 11-7 win over the Sea Spray on Sunday at Langley Events Centre.

The teams were tied at two after 15 minutes with the Grizzlies taking a slim 4-3 lead to the locker room. They were up by two goals after three quarters, 6-4, before both teams’ offences found some traction in the fourth with a combined eight goals.

Box Score

“I thought the team worked hard and they worked as a unit all game along. The goal was to focus on our game and be disciplined, and then get better as the game went on,” said Grizzlies coach Zack Porter. “Our offence came along late, finishing plays as they got open, and our defence was strong all night and goaltending, Mooney stood on his head.”

Mooney, the game’s first star, deflected credit to his teammates.

“It was a really good team effort. Everyone came out ready to go. The offence was looking good, swinging the ball and getting a lot of chances and the defence just made it really easy on me to see the ball, get the deep shots I want,” he said.

Gordie Phillips led the Sea Spray with a hat trick and was the second star with Baker’s seven-point game earning him the third star.

For the Grizzlies, Pearson Willis (2+2) had a four-point game while Nash Moog (0+3) and Mitch McDole (1+2) both had three-point outings. Alex Dozzi added a pair of goals with Steve McKinley, Jake Stott and Joseph Callard each registering a goal and an assist.

Jared Moloci scored twice for the Sea Spray with James Rahe (1+1) and Nathan McKeigan (1+0) each getting a goal.

Lee Jackman made 35 saves as his team was outshot 46-44.

Sea Spray head coach Russ Heard said the goal was to keep the game a low-scoring affair as his squad was missing several key offensive pieces from last year and were also trying to work in some new players up front with limited practice time.

“Some of the penalties let the game get away from us, but overall, the effort was good,” he said. “All in all, a pretty good effort for what we had tonight.”

Sea Spray's Tyler Kirkby is hounded by Grizzlies' Brayden Laity during ALL West Division action at Langley Events Centre on November 13. Ryan Molag LEC photo