Bellies Take Two in a Row in March to Playoffs

by Gary McLaughlin

LATE SEASON ADDITIONS ADD TO BELLIES DRIVE FOR PLAYOFF SPOT

After a disappointing home loss to the playoff bound Victoria Shamrocks on the Canada Day weekend, your Jr. Bellies bounced back and solidified their own playoff chances in the BCAJLL with two big wins. Playing back to back against the island teams, the Bellies gutted out a 9-8 win in Nanaimo on the Sunday, then came home to take the Islanders of Delta, 10 – 8 this past Tuesday at Queens Park Arena. Goaltender Keegan Melnychuck stepped in part way through the Delta game and effectively put the fire out, leading his team to a much needed two points. As of this writing, the Bellies and Shamrocks, each with 26 points and two games remaining, are tied for 2ndplace. Also fighting it out for the last playoff spot are the Nanaimo Timbermen with 24 points and the Langley Thunder with 22. Each of those two teams have two games remaining as well. The Bellies finish up with a huge game against the 1stplace Adanacs Friday night in Coquitlam, and then wind up the regular season at Langley this Sunday July 7that 7:30 in the LEC.

The Bellies, much like the Adanacs, the Shamrocks and the Thunder, were very busy in terms of re-jigging their lineups in the last few weeks leading up to the trade deadline. Here is a capsule look at the newest Bellie additions available for the playoffs. Jacob Patterson, an original Bellie, was re-acquired from the PoCo Saints. Also coming to NW from the Saints were Haden Harty and forward Gabe Procyk.The Bellies also acquired Keiren McKay, Ty Yanko and Sam La Roue from the Burnaby Lakers. Riley Merritt joins us from the Delta Islanders. And finally, the Bellies acquired goaltender Kyle Hebert from the Oakville Buzz of the OJALL.

This year the Minto Cup is hosted by the Langley Thunder playing out of the LEC in Langley. The Bellies are gearing up to take a long run in the BCJALL playoffs, as the goal is to be one of the two western teams competing for the national championship. These latter acquisitions, along with their solid core from the season’s beginning, will take us a long way to realizing that goal.

Strap on your seatbelts, the playoffs are going to be a thrilling ride!

For game pictures of the Bellies/Shamrocks tilt (and many other games this season) go to the Jr. Bellies link on this website and click on ‘Fan Zone Pictures’.)