Dev­ils take two-game lead over As­sault

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports - Ted CLARKE Citizen staff [email protected]­i­t­i­

Prac­tice makes per­fect.

The Westwood Pub Dev­ils have been do­ing that since long be­fore the Prince Ge­orge Se­nior Lacrosse sea­son be­gan and are reap­ing the re­wards in the play­offs.

They took a two-games-to-none stran­gle­hold in the best-of-five cham­pi­onship se­ries Thurs­day night at Kin 1, beat­ing the North­land Nissan As­sault 10-5.

The Dev­ils have had strength in num­bers all sea­son and their ded­i­ca­tion to work­ing out game strate­gies in prac­tices has paid off.

That ex­tra work pre­par­ing for games shows in their passes and quick ball move­ment and a short-staffed As­sault has had a tough time match­ing that level of co­he­sive­ness in the fi­nal.

Af­ter get­ting smoked 21-6 in the se­ries opener Tues­day the As­sault was a much bet­ter team in Game 2 but they still aren’t on the same page as the Dev­ils, who are now within one win of claim­ing their third­straight league cham­pi­onship.

Jake McIn­tosh con­tin­ued to spark the Dev­ils of­fen­sively, col­lect­ing three goals and two as­sists Thurs­day, matched by a three-goal, two-as­sist ef­fort from An­drew Sch­wab and two goals apiece from Kyler Boucher and Dy­lan Long.

Doug Porter had a three-goal night for the As­sault and PGSLA rookie of the year Ri­ley Stevens scored twice.

North­land tried for a come­back with some ex­tended power-play time early in the third pe­riod but could only re­duce the deficit to 7-5.

Goals from McIn­tosh, Long and Sch­wab put the game out of reach.

Patrick Bayliss con­tin­ued to im­press in the Dev­ils nets, af­ter col­lect­ing the Ted Con­way Award Tues­day as the league’s top goalie.

The As­sault built up some power-play pres­sure early on him in the sec­ond pe­riod and Bayliss stood his ground with a cou­ple of stel­lar saves just be­fore Long took off on a short­handed break­away and scored over the shoul­der of As­sault goalie Kyle Fred­erich.

That gave the Dev­ils a 6-3 lead. North­land cut the lead to two when Porter com­pleted his first hat trick of the play­offs with the only goal of the sec­ond pe­riod on a quick setup pass from Dave Jenk­ins.

In the open­ing pe­riod, Sch­wab scored twice in the first minute, but the As­sault got the next three.

Porter fired a pair and Stevens also found the net to give the As­sault its first lead of the se­ries.

Boucher an­swered Porter’s sec­ond goal less than a minute later and McIn­tosh pounded in two more in to re­store the Dev­ils’ lead head­ing into the first in­ter­mis­sion.

The Dev­ils can wrap up the best-of-five se­ries with a win in Game 3 Mon­day night at Kin 1.

If the se­ries is ex­tended, Game 4 would be played Wed­nes­day night, with Game 5, if needed, set for next Thurs­day.

Both teams were miss­ing some of their big guns. Matt Ro­chon, who had 13 goals and a whop­ping 19 points in just three play­off games to lead the As­sault, was out with a shoul­der in­jury and sniper Clarke An­der­son is also on the in­jury shelf.

Dev­ils for­ward Colton Poulin was nurs­ing a sore shoul­der, while Westwood veter­ans Adam Moleski, Jeff Moleski, Danton Nicholson and Scott An­der­son were also un­avail­able.

Nicholson and An­der­son are in North Saanich this week­end coach­ing the Prince Ge­orge ban­tam Posse in the provin­cial A2 cham­pi­onship. The Posse lost its opener Thurs­day 10-7 to Penin­sula.

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