Lakers hope to ride hot wave against Maple Ridge

Summer’s here and the living is easy – or at least it sometimes seems that way.

That was the take-away for the Burnaby Lakers last Friday, when they kicked off the first day of the summer with a thorough 14-6 swamping of the visiting Langley Thunder.

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It also was a suitable response after the previous week’s disappointing 11-9 loss to Coquitlam.

The Lakers grabbed control early, with Scott Jones making it 1-0 just 32 seconds into the game. Before the clock hit the 12-minute mark, Burnaby was riding a 6-0 lead and had little to worry about.

But in a typical Western Lacrosse Association game, minor swings can turn into big momentum plays. Langley would get their chance and close the gap to 8-4 early in the second period.

Recently acquired forward Brandon Clelland restored the momentum to Burnaby when he buried an unassisted goal with five minutes remaining in the frame.

Jones would finish the night with four goals and six assists, while Robert Church grabbed a temporary hold on the league’s scoring lead with three goals and five helpers.

Dane Stevens picked up a hat trick and set up three others, while Daryl Veltman cashed in a pair of goals and four assists. Clelland, who arrived a week earlier in a swap with Langley that sent Coady Adamson and Brodie Gillespie the other way, finished with two goals on the night.

The team would finish a sizzling four-for-six on the powerplay, which boosted their success rate to 43.75 per cent.

Making 39 saves for the win was Eric Penney.

The game saw the return of Matt Beers, the captain of the National Lacrosse League’s Vancouver Warriors, to Burnaby’s backline.

The Lakers face off against Maple Ridge tonight in a rare Tuesday game at Bill Copeland Arena. The Burrards, who at 6-4 share top spot with Burnaby, have lost their last three games, including the past two after the major swap that saw them add Wes Berg, Christian Del Bianco and Alex Bohl to their roster.

Burnaby holds two games in hand on Maple Ridge. The Lakers will also host third-place New Westminster on Friday (7:30 p.m. at Copeland).

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