The Burnaby Lakers rode a perfect period of lacrosse to their third consecutive win in the Western Lacrosse Association.
The senior A Lakers played perhaps their best 20 minutes of lacrosse since a run to the league playoff final in 1993, downing the once nationally No. 2-ranked New Westminster Salmonbellies 15-11 at the Bill Copeland Sports Centre on Friday.
"Our mindset coming in was we wanted to play huge," said Lakers' Mike Brascia, who intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and opened the scoring in the third minute with his fourth consecutive transition goal of the season. "We knew (playing New West) would be the ultimate test, so we wanted to come out with guns blazing."
And come out the Lakers did.
A minute later, Matt Quinton cut the middle and took a neat pass from Shaun Dhaliwal to make the score 2-0.
Dhaliwal then connected from the right crease with Burnaby's first of three goals on the power play.
First star Scott Jones made it 4-0 with his first of three goals midway through the frame.
Team scoring leader Dane Stevens then made it five straight goals for Burnaby on the power play.
The Lakers outshot the visitors 18-8 in the opening period and by a long shot overall, nearly doubling the attempts on goal, 59-30.
But the Salmonbellies did not go quietly despite a seven-goal deficit early in the second stanza on Jones's second of the game.
The 'Bellies rallied to close the gap to five goals with the help of a second-period hat trick from Jeff Zywicki.
New Westminster pulled out all the stops in the final frame, outscoring Burnaby 6-5 in the period, but on each occasion, the Lakers found a reply.
With the score 13-10 following a pair of long-range lazers by New West's Alex Gajic a minute apart, and with the Fishmen on a five-minute power play, Dhaliwal scored a timely first shorthanded goal of the season on a bouncer from close range.
Gajic eventually scored on the power play to bring the deficit back down to three with more than five minutes still left to play.
But Burnaby rookie Casey Jackson, the third overall pick in the WLA junior draft, counted the first goal of his senior career to put the game away.
Joe Bell got the win in goal for Burnaby.
"It's a huge team builder. Our offence was going and our defence was so solid. Now other teams know we're a potential contender and can't take us light-ly, Brasica added.
In the first period, Burnaby showed veteran poise when the Salmonbellies changed tactics and attempted to intimidate the young Lakers. Burnaby forechecked well and repeatedly threw the transition-minded 'Bellies out of their rhythm.
With the win, Burnaby pulled into a tie for second place with New West. The Victoria Shamrocks took over first place following a 17-7 win over the Maple Ridge Burrards.
Burnaby is in Langley tonight (Wednesday) before returning to the Copeland centre Friday for a home tilt with the winless Burrards. Both games are 7: 45 p.m. starts.
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