Shooting Eagles rally to edge Black Fish

by Gary Ahuja

Spencer Bromley (#11) scored a hat trick, including the game-winning goal, as the Shooting Eagles rallied from a 7-1 deficit to defeat the Black Fish 13-11 in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre on January. 8. Ryan Molag LEC photo

Facing a multi-goal deficit, a goaltending change proved to be the spark the Shooting Eagles needed.

Brody Harris entered the game and finished with 32 saves – including a breakaway save in the final minute with his team holding its first lead of the game – as they Shooting Eagles rallied for the 13-11 win over the Black Fish.

“Just stop the ball and you get the win,” Harris said of the game-deciding play, which was followed shortly afterwards by a Dylan McIntosh empty-netter.

The two teams were playing on Sunday afternoon in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action at Langley Events Centre with the win improving the Shooting Eagles to 3-3 while the Black Fish fell to 2-4.

“Just trying to keep your head in the game while sitting on the bench. You can go in at any time; just trying to stay focused and be ready,” Harris said about not letting the deficit grow any larger. “I just wanted to shut the door and give our guys a chance to get the offence going.”

“He came in and won the game for us,” said Shooting Eagles coach Adam Smith, who said the change from Thomas Ungaro to Harris – the teams’ No. 1 goalie -- was less about performance and more about trying to light a fire under his own squad.

“At the very least, we needed that spark, and we obviously have complete faith in our starter, so we put him in there and he was the game changer.”

With the Shooting Eagles down 7-1 late in the second quarter, Mark Yingling and Coady Adamson scored goals 26 seconds apart to make it 7-3 at the half.

Black Fish goaltender Matt Hiebert makes one of his 40 saves during his team's game against the Shooting Eagles on Jan. 8. Ryan Molag LEC photo

And despite the multi-goal deficit, Smith was relatively happy with his team’s effort, just not their execution.

“Their goalie was hot in the first half and played really well; I thought we had opportunities that we didn’t bury. And their shooters were getting shots from the outside and hitting them; we were a step behind on defence and just couldn’t finish on offence.”

Told them at the half: “Don’t change anything; stick with it – you guys are doing the right things and the opportunities are there and they will come.”

The second half began the same as how the first ended with Adamson and Yingling scoring in quick succession making it a one-goal game and following a Black Fish goal, Yingling and Spencer Bromley capped off a 4-1 run to start the third quarter, levelling the score at nine apiece. From there, the teams traded goals for an 11-11 score with just over five minutes to play before Bromley’s hat trick goal gave the Shooting Eagles their first lead, and one they would not relinquish.

Harris – who made 26 saves on 32 shots – was the game’s first star while Adamson (4+3) was the second star. Yingling (3+1) and Bromley (3+0) both had hat tricks while Adam Noakes (1+3) and McIntosh (2+1) rounded out the scoring. Ungaro made 11 saves on 16 shots.

Connor Watson (2+3) led the Black Fish and was the game’s third star and his five-point effort was matched by Ryan Jones (1+4). Brian Gillis potted a pair of goals and Drew Kask, Aiden Murphy and Chase McIntyre each had a goal and an assist. Nick Jensen, Ryan Jensen and Matt Symes chipped in with a goal apiece. Matt Hiebert finished with 40 saves on 52 shots as the Black Fish were outshot 54-48.

Box Score