Thunder one win away

Vernon's Brodie MacDonald earns first star as the Langley Thunder stuff the New Westminster Salmonbellies 8-4 in Game 5 of the WLA finals.

Vernon’s Brodie MacDonald didn’t even play a full game and still earned first star.

Despite being tossed midway through the third period on an illegal equipment call, the hulking Langley Thunder netminder received the honour for his 28-save performance in an 8-4 win over the host New Westminster Salmonbellies Thursday night at Queen’s Park.

It is the second first-star award for MacDonald in the Western Lacrosse Association finals (he also earned a second star in Game 2), which Langley leads 3-2. They had a chance to put the series away in Game 6 Saturday night at Langley Events Centre. If necessary, Game 7 would go Monday in New Westminster.

The series winner hosts the Mann Cup national championships, Sept. 7-15.

Athan Iannucci and Rob Van Beek paced the Thunder in Game 5 with two goals apiece, while Jamie Lincoln and Nick Bilic each supplied a goal and assist.

Kevin Crowley had a deuce for New Westminster, who got 29 stops from Tyler Richards.

Langley’s Andrew Leyshon recorded nine stops and allowed one goal in relief of MacDonald.

Meanwhile, the Coquitlam Adanacs were one win away from retaining their Minto Cup national junior A championship heading into action Saturday night in Okotoks, Alta.

The A’s used three goals and an assist from Travis Cornwall, 2+2 from Wesley Berg and 1+5 from Casey Jackson to ice the Whitby Warriors of Ontario 12-9 in Game 1 of the best-of-three final Friday night.

Vernon’s Josh Phillips served as backup for the Adanacs’ Steve Fryer (28 saves).