Lady Luck smiled on the Burnaby Lakers this weekend.
The senior A Lakers weathered a curiously antagonistic Coquitlam Adanacs club, defeating the A's 8-5 in a roughly played matchup at the Poirier Street arena Saturday.
The win was an important one for a Burnaby club that had not been part of the WLA post season since 2008, when the Lakers lost a first-round, seven-game series to Coquitlam.
The Lakers needed the two points to ensure itself at least a chance at the last remaining playoff berth.
That effort became a reality Sunday night when the defending regular season champion New Westminster Salmonbellies were stopped 12-6 by the last-place Maple Ridge Burrards.
A win by the Salmonbellies would have given the 'Bellies 10 wins in the regular season, one better than the Lakers, and a spot in the final four. The loss gave Burnaby the fourth-place spot with a superior league record and two more points in the standings.
"It's ironic," said Burnaby runner Pete McFetridge. "Last year, it was a similar situation. We needed New Westminster to win, and this year, we need New West to lose. - We did our part."
Burnaby needed at least a pair of wins in its last four league outings to have any chance of making the post season in one of the tightest finishes in league history.
The Lakers managed those two wins, but only after a narrow 8-7 loss to league champion Langley the night before at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre.
In that game, McFetridge capped a comeback third period, tying the score 7-7 on a shortman break midway through the final frame. Langley got the game-winner from Garrett Billings on a power play in the final minute of play.
In Coquitlam, Burnaby came out with a purpose, taking a 3-0 first-period league and holding on to it for the full 60 minutes.
Coquitlam mustered a minor rally in the middle period and got to within a single goal. But Scott Jones, with his second goal of the game, gave Burnaby a 53 advantage after tucking in a Casey Jackson shot on goal behind Coquitlam keeper Adam Shute.
Dane Stevens extended that lead to 7-3, potting his second and third goals of the game between periods. Jones and Colton Clark shared a game-high five points with Stevens.
Last season, Burnaby defeated Maple Ridge by a single point in a game that decided the season series between the two teams and one that the Lakers thought had secured them a berth into the playoffs.
But two days later, New West lost to Maple Ridge, which gave the Burrards one more win than Burnaby and ultimately the final playoff spot.
Last year, the Lakers finished with a 7-9-2 record and in a three-way tie for fourth place. This season, Burnaby finished with a record of 9-7-2.
"We're excited. It's the first time for me with Burnaby," said Lakers head coach Bob Johnston.
Johnston believes his club can be competitive with any team in this season's closely contested WLA.
But defeating Langley will come down to how effectively the team manages the Thunder's big three of Garrett Billings, Athan Iannucci and Lewis Ratcliff.
It will also come down breaking down Langley's tough back end, said Johnston.
"We've got to get to the net against Langley," Johnston added. "When we do that, we're very effective. We got to play with passion and emotion."
Burnaby will take on the first-place Langley Thunder in Game 1 of the best-of-seven WLA semifinal at the Langley Events Centre tonight (Wednesday).
Game 2 is at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre in Burnaby on Friday. Game time for both contests is 7: 45 p.m.