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River Rats look to extend win streak against Thunder

The Cowichan River Rats have found back-to-back wins

After a slow start to the season, the Cowichan River Rats have found back-to-back wins to improve their record to 2-7-1 at the midway mark of the Vancouver Island Lacrosse League season.

On the road Wednesday, June 5, the Rats beat the Westshore Aces 11-6 on the strength of a balanced attack that saw four goals scored in each of the first two periods and three in the third. 

Pete Vanden Dungen and Jared Meservia both scored two goals and had two assists to lead the point-getters with four apiece while Brennan Stothers, Wes Morris and Trevor Philp all had one and one for two points each on the night.

Singles came from the sticks of Paul Yaremus, Dan Rabey, Dale Darby, and Aaron Bernasky. 

That was the only win of the week the Rats needed to work for, as the Saanich Express forfeited their June 8 contest. The 1-0 forfeit win makes it a two-game win streak for the Rats as they head into a highly anticipated all-Cowichan matchup against the Thunder at the Cowichan Arena on Saturday, June 15 at 7 p.m. 

With the night suddenly free, a number of River Rats were picked up by the senior B New Westminster Salmonbellies for their game in Nanaimo against the Timbermen.

"Our crew had the only goal of the night scored by Stephen Macfarlane and a big assist by Paul Yaremus," said Rats spokesperson Dylan Dewarle. "Dale Darby was on fire as usual and was a huge part of the transition game. Conrad Dawes as always was a big shutdown defenceman which had the Nanaimo Senior B Timbermen in scrambles trying to get to the net. We are so proud of these boys for their efforts."

Meanwhile, in their June 8 home game, a back-and-forth affair against the Aces saw 10 third-period goals scored, including the last three in a row from the Thunder. Even so, the Aces prevailed by a 9-7 score.

The Thunder had a hot start but had slowed down to a 3-4-2 record overall when they entered play against the Express on the road Tuesday, June 11. The end result was not what they would have hoped, but with a short bench, all Cowichan could muster was five goals to Saanich's 17.

Cowichan goals came from Wade Mason (2), Devyn Zunti, Ben Vanden Dungen, and Josh Hayton.