It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win.
Valley Rebels’ coach Jim Nishiyama said the 10-7 victory over the North Shore Friday wasn’t a “complete performance,” but the points for the win kept the team in the middle of the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association standings with 12 points.
The Rebels were up 3-1 after the first with goals from Sean Kelly, Nash Harrison and Brennan Galbraith, which is territory in which the team has found itself before. They would go five or six up at the start, then hold on and see the gap erode, said Nishiyama.
This time out, the Rebels held the advantage throughout the game, jumping up 8-4 after the second, and finishing strong with two more goals in the third.
Kelly was the top scorer of the night with five points (two goals, three assists), followed closely by Harrison, who snagged three goals and one assist.
Nishiyama said Kelly’s performance was on par.
“Sean Kelly is usually good for four to five points a night. He’s one of the major components of our offense. Other players key on him and it frees up others,” said the coach.
And while the team has lots of firepower, some of it was absent Friday, including standout players Geordie Wells and Shaun McRae.
In the past two weeks, the Rebels pushed the undefeated Tri-City Bandits in a 10-7 home loss May 30, and beat the Port Moody Thunder 10-9 on the road June 3.
Against the Bandits, the Rebels took a 6-5 lead into the third period at MSA Arena, only to watch Tri-City rally with five goals in the final frame, including three from Brian Gillis. Sean Kelly paced the Abbotsford squad with two goals and an assist.
The Rebel next play in Port Coquitlam against the Tri-City Bandits on June 14 at 5:30 p.m.
“They’re a great team,” said Nishiyama. “They have one of the top goaltenders (Chad Miller) in our league for the past 15 years.”