Rahe buries OT winner as Sea Spray knock off Grizzlies
Sea Spray's Nathan McKeigan looks to make a pass while defended against the Grizzlies' Connor Whyte in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre on Sunday. Gary Ahuja LEC photo
Keegan Bell tied the game with 29 seconds to play and James Rahe scored the winner on the only shot of sudden-death overtime as the Sea Spray defeated the Grizzlies 12-11.
It was the Sea Spray’s second-straight overtime victory as they improved to 2-2 on the Arena Lacrosse League West Division season, while the Grizzlies (3-1) suffered their first defeat.
The teams were playing on Sunday afternoon at Langley Events Centre.
“It is a play we run all the time and it just happened to work. They kind of read us throughout the rest of the game so it was nice to get open. (Trevor) Funk hit me with a pass and I was running out of real estate; I threw it behind-the-back and it trickled in,” Rahe said of the decisive goal.
For much of the game, the Sea Spray were playing catch-up, as they only led twice – 1-0 and 2-1 – as the Grizzlies used a 4-1 second quarter to lead 7-4 at the half.
“We didn’t execute in the first half and (Grizzlies goaltender Brandon) Humphreys was playing really well, stopping the ball,” Rahe said, adding the team knew if they stuck to the game plan, the goals would start to come.
The Grizzlies extended the lead to 8-4 early in the third quarter before the Sea Spray scored four straight to even the score at eight. Nursing a one-goal lead with just over three minutes to play, the Grizzlies scored a huge short-handed goal as Pearson Willis struck for his fourth of the game to go up by a pair. But Bell made it a one-goal game on that same power play and then forced overtime in the final minute, setting the stage for Rahe’s winner.
“We need a little better execution, but a gritty performance in the second half after being down at the half. Just doing what it took: loose balls, face-offs, goaltending, some key goals at the right time; just a good team win,” said Sea Spray coach Russ Heard.
Adam Dickson was the game’s first star following his 4-goal, 8-point performance in the victory while goaltender Reed Watson was the third star with a 38-save performance. The Grizzlies’ Willis (4+1) was the second star.
Bell (3+2) and Rahe (2+3) each had 5-point games while Vinny Ricci (2+2) finished with 4 points. Funk (1+1) and Tyler Ewen (0+2) both had 2-point games.
For the Grizzlies, Jake Stott (1+5). Mitch McDole (2+3) and Willis (4+1) led the way with Erik Maas (1+2), Steve McKinlay (1+1), Sekawnee Baker (1+1) and Nash Moog (0+2) also have multi-point games. Humphreys made 41 saves in the Grizzlies goal as his team was outshot 53-49.