It’s getting to be that time of the season for Junior A lacrosse, crunch time.
And the great thing about crunch time is that it produces clutch players as the regular season comes down the stretch. In B.C. we’ve got a pretty good idea who many of these reliable and consistent players are, especially from the teams at the top of the standings. But we’ve also got the mid-range teams, those that are in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spots and those that are just outside the playoff window but not completely out of contention.
Now, more than ever is when teams need these players to emerge as leaders and that’s our frame of thought as we present ILIndoor’s 3 Stars for the week ending June 19.
Christian Del Bianco, Coquitlam
The Adanacs are 14-0 in large part because of a defense that’s just downright nasty in allowing just 6 goals a game. Of course when this happens, we look first to see what the situation is in goal and for Coquitlam’s foes, that situation’s name is Christian Del Bianco. He leads B.C. in goals-against (6.10), wins (12) and, most impressively, a .859 save percentage. He posted percentageds of .933 and .911 in wins over Delta and Port Coquitlam this week and is showing no signs of slowing down in Coquitlam’s yearly pursuit of Minto Cup glory.
Connor Robinson, New Westminster
The leading scorer in B.C. isn’t exactly a scoring surprise considering he had a 104-point season in 2014, but he’s been a steady producer for the Salmonbellies as evidenced by his 11 points (5-6) in a pair of wins this week. He’s averaging better than 5.5 points a game for New West this summer with a balanced game as a finisher and helper. The ‘Bellies are in a comfortable spot for playoff positioning coming down the stretch and they’ve got a big test coming Tuesday with Coquitlam coming to town.
Brad McCulley, Victoria
The Shamrocks haven’t been enjoying the best of seasons, but they’re not out of the playoff picture and in a pair of wins this week, McCulley is a big reason why. This rookie has been the picture of consistency for the Shamrocks and with 8 points in 2 games on 4 goals and 4 assists, he’s been a valuable stick who has helped the Shamrocks win 3 of their last 4 games overall. Victoria is just 2 points shy of fourth-place Port Coquitlam and with a big game coming on Saturday against unbeaten Coquitlam, the Shamrocks will need production from guys like McCulley more than ever.