Two straight for Black Fish as team pumps home 19 goals

by Gary Ahuja

Jordan Roberts congratulates Jon Phillips after one of Phillips' many goals in a 19-17 Black Fish victory  over the Shooting Eagles on February 8 in Arena Lacrosse League West Division action. Gary Ahuja Langley Events Centre photos

It was the Jon Phillips, Chase McIntyre and Greg Lunde show on Tuesday night as the trio combined to score 11 goals and 27 points to help lead their club to a second consecutive victory.

With both offences seemingly scoring at will, the Black Fish Lacrosse Club scored last to hold on for a 19-17 win over the Shooting Eagles Lacrosse Club at Langley Events Centre to kick off week nine Arena Lacrosse League West Division action. The combined 36 goals were a season-high in the ALL West Division.

The Black Fish trailed just twice (2-1 and 8-7) but never led by more than a pair of goals as the game was tied on 11 different occasions before McIntyre rifled home his fourth of the game with 1:58 to play to snap the 17-17 tie.

“I was struggling at the beginning there, but the ball was finally starting to drop so I just put it right down the pipe and it went five-hole,” McIntyre said of his game-winner. All four of his goals came in the second half.

But while McIntyre could not find the back of the net in the first half, Phillips was another story, scoring four of his six before half-time. Phillips has eight goals in his last five quarters, including the game winner in week eight when he buried the winner with 1.7 seconds to play.

McIntyre finished with four goals and eight points, bested only by Jon Phillips, who scored six goals and 11 points. Lunde (one goal, seven assists) also had an eight-point game. Ethan M’Lot also had a big game with three goals and six points while Laszlo Henning (one goal, two assists), Jordan Roberts (one goal, one assist), Isaac Bot (one goal) and Brandon Luitwieler (one goal) rounded out the scoring.  

“Jonny Phillips was an absolute beast out there,” McIntyre said.

That’s a sentiment shared by Black Fish coach Rod Jensen.

“He is a guy that can put five, six goals in in a game and carry a team,” the coach said.

The Black Fish are the lowest scoring team in the West Division, averaging less than 11 goals per game. That average has been drastically risen because of their week eight and nine results as the team has scored a combined 36 goals in those two contests.

“I don’t know where we are getting all these goals, but they certainly help,” Jensen said. “Our offence is going – look at Phillips today – everything he shot went in.”

The key has been a balance from both sides of the floor.

“We have confidence on both sides of the floor. Every guy out there knows what they are doing, and every guy is capable of scoring. We are just getting some chemistry and having some fun out there, moving the ball around both sides of the floor, and getting familiar with each other and it is just going in the net,” McIntyre said.

The Black Fish have now won consecutive games for the first time this season, improving to 3-6 on the season while the Shooting Eagles saw their three-game win streak come to an end as their record dropped to 4-5.

Shooting Eagles coach Adam Smith said his team reverted to some poor defensive habits from earlier in the season. But he also gave credit to the Black Fish for their offensive execution.

“There shots were ‘on’ and we sagged back a bit and let them shoot. And every time we did that, they pinned it into a corner. They were good shooters tonight and our guys were a step behind and that is a lethal combination,” Smith said.

“That was the speech afterwards: we come out of this with 17 goals, it should be a victory. Defence has to tighten that up. But it just seemed over and over, there were(making) good shots, so you can’t really blame anybody. We were just one step behind.”

For the Shooting Eagles, Dean Fairall had four goals and nine points and Jake Foster finished with three goals and three assists, while Garrett Winter and Sam Clare both had two goals and three assists. Mark Yingling (one goal, three assists), Coady Adamson (two goals), Dylan Laprade (one goal, two assists), Ethan Self (one goal) and Aidan Murphy (one goal) rounded out their team’s scoring.

Brody Harris made 37 saves on 55 shots, with the last Black Fish goal coming as he scrambled back into net in the final moment as he was on the bench for the extra attacker. Dave Mather made 38 saves on 55 shots in the Black Fish goal.

The Shooting Eagles are back in action on February 15 against the Sea Spray while the Black Fish go against the Grizzlies on February 16. Both games are at Langley Events Centre and begin at 7:00pm.