New Westminster muffles Thunder

The host New Westminster Salmonbellies fired five unanswered goals then coasted to an 8-3 win over the Langley Thunder in Game 1 of Western Lacrosse Association playoff finals Wednesday at Queen’s Park Arena.

The host New Westminster Salmonbellies fired five unanswered goals then coasted to an 8-3 win over the Langley Thunder in Game 1 of Western Lacrosse Association playoff finals Wednesday at Queen’s Park Arena.

The Salmonbellies’ Kevin Crowley and Tyler Crompton launched the onslaught with goals 23 seconds apart. Before the period was over, Crowley would have a hat trick while Corbyn Tao scored the other goal.

New Westminster clamped down defensively for the remaining 40 minutes, as the teams each scored twice in the second period and once in the third.

Salmonbellies’ netminder Tyler Richards celebrated his Leo Nicholson Award as the league’s outstanding goalie with a 32-save performance. New West fired 36 shots at Langley keepers Brodie MacDonald and Joe Bell.

MacDonald, a Vernon native, was pulled 6:29 into the second period when New West scored its seventh straight goal.

The best-of-seven series continues with Game 2 tonight at the Langley Events Centre. Game 3 goes Sunday in New Westminster.