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Cowichan River Rats, Thunder struggle to find footing early in senior lacrosse season

Rats 0-2-1, Thunder 1-2-0 three games in
Cowichan Thunder’s Tyson Black fired in four goals in a 10-6 loss to the Express on Saturday night. (Paula Harris photo)

A 6-6 tie with the Firefighters on Saturday, May 4 has the Cowichan River Rats at two losses and a tie to start the Vancouver Island Lacrosse League season.

Down a goal midway through the first period against the Firefighters, Dale Darby scored from Jason Bernasky to pull the Rats even and then Steven Harris scored to put the team ahead by one goal going into the first break. Tyler Clint picked up an assist on the Harris goal.

The Firefighters pulled even early in the second but Cowichan’s Wes Morris converted on a Curt Gailey pass to tie it once more.

In what was a back and fourth period, the Firefighters pulled ahead yet again only for the Rats, this time Pete Vanden Dungen, to score from Harris to put Cowichan up 4-3. Naturally, the Firefighters scored to even it at 4-4 at the second intermission.

Down 5-4 in the third, Darby took a pass from Vanden Dungen and found the back of the net and then Harris got his second of the game to put Cowichan up 6-5. They couldn’t hang on, however, as the Firefighters spoiled the party, scoring with four minutes to play and the game ended knotted at six goals apiece.

The Rats next play the Blazers on May 11 at 8:30 p.m. at the Cowichan Community Centre.

Meanwhile, the Cowichan Thunder lost a pair over the weekend, first a 12-3 drubbing at the hands of the Blazers on Thursday, May 2, then a closer 10-6 Saturday night loss to the Express.

Ben Vanden Dungen (from Ty Salmon and Mathieu Jung), and Tyson Black (from Jung) were the only scorers against the Blazers while Black (4), B. Vanden Dungen, and Devyn Zunti scored on Saturday night. Jung has seven assists over the two game span.

Up next, the Thunder play host to the Firefighters on Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Cowichan Community Centre.