Sea Spray down Black Fish in OT

by Gary Ahuja

Sea Spray's Gordie Phillips tuck a shot home past Black Fish goaltender Gordy Bowden during Arena Lacrosse League action at Langley Events Centre on January 16. Gary Ahuja Langley Events Centre photos

Sometimes the best laid plans don’t go as planned but still manage to work out for the best.

“I told myself ‘don’t shoot five-hole’ and when the ball came out, it went five-hole,” explained Carter Dickson.

Dickson played hero, scoring at 1:24 of sudden-death overtime to give the Sea Spray Lacrosse Club a 13-12 victory over the Black Fish Lacrosse Club in week five Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Each team had failed on their opening possessions of the sudden-death period before the Sea Spray were able to get a second crack.

“My best buddy Parker Kump set an unbelievable pick and I just around (and fired),” Dickson explained of his winning goal.

The win improved the Sea Spray to 4-1 while the Black Fish are now 1-4.

The game did not begin very well for the Sea Spray as they were down 8-3 at the half.

“We weren’t running on all cylinders and hard time getting out of neutral and I give full credit to that team (Black Fish), they played very physical and had a smart game plan,” said Sea Spray coach Russ Heard.

The Black Fish would run into penalty issues in the third quarter and their opponent took advantage, scoring the period’s only three goals and then another pair to open the fourth. Going back to the second quarter, the Sea Spray rattled off seven straight to turn an 8-3 deficit into a 10-8 lead.

“We just had to work out a few kinks in that first half. We talked as a team on what we had to do to support each other and came out and executed,” Dickson said, while also crediting the team’s defence, which only had seven players.

Heard said the team’s just wanted to  chip away a goal at a time and while their offence was rusty, they were able to generate scoring with their power play and some greasy goals in transition.

“You have to use that mentality and thankfully in the third quarter our defence and goaltending shut them down,” he said.

To their credit, the Black Fish battled back, tying the score at 10 before the teams traded goals to end regulation.

The Black Fish were looking for a second straight victory after knocking off the previously unbeaten Grizzlies the week prior.

“We are trying to break our games into four games. And one quarter – if you are not consistent – it can cost you. They tied the game up there,” he said. “We used a lot of energy to tie it up, but we just couldn’t get over the mountain.”

Jensen’s team was still missing about six key players and last time these teams played in week two, the Sea Spray won 20-6.

I am not worried. It is disappointing, I thought we played well enough to win,” he said. “We need to minimize our penalties and execute a little bit better when it is crunch time.”

Offensively, the Sea Spray were led by five points (all assists) from Sam Clare, and four points apiece from Adam Dickson (three goals, one assist) and Nick Preston (one goal, three assists). Rob Hofseth, John Hofseth and Tyler Kirkby each potted a pair of goals while Gordie Phillips and Preston Lupul had a goal and an assist apiece.

Goaltender Lee Jackman was the first star after making 41 saves on 53 Black Fish shots. The game’s second star was his goaltending counterpart with Gordy Bowden stopping 46 of 59 shots.

Offensively, Chase McIntyre had two goals and seven points while Jon Phillips had a hat trick and six points. Jordan Roberts (two goals and one assist) and Nick Jensen both scored twice while Isaac Bot (one goal, three assists), Ethan M’Lot (one goal, two assists) and Toru Morimatsu (one goal, one assist) rounded out the scoring.

Up next for the Sea Spray will be a first-place showdown and battle of 4-1 teams as they face the Grizzlies Lacrosse Club on January 23 at 1:00pm. The Black Fish take on the Shooting Eagles Lacrosse Club at 4:00pm. Both teams enter the game with 1-4 records.