On Monday, August 29th, the Coquitlam Adanacs Jr. A lacrosse team won the Minto Cup in overtime against the Orangeville Northmen from Ontario. It was a thrilling overtime victory in the final game of the five game series at the Events Centre in Langley. To get to the final series the Adanacs and Northmen had to both get past the Calgary Mountaineers and Delta Islanders in round-robin play. This is the first time a team from BC has won the Minto Cup since the Adanacs last won it in 2010.
You might be wondering why an article about the Coquitlam Adanacs is on Tenth to the Fraser, a magazine focussed on New Westminster?
First, once there’s a BC champion, lacrosse fans normally rally behind their provincial team. There were plenty of New Westminster Salmonbellie fans at the Events Centre for the Minto Cup, hoping the Adanacs did well.
But secondly, the Adanacs, despite their ongoing rivalry with the Salmonbellies, have their roots in New Westminster. The “Adanac Basketball Club” was formed in New Westminster in the 1920’s (the Salmonbellies preceded them by decades). In spring 1933 the club started a lacrosse team to keep the players active during the summer. During the Second World War the team disbanded with most of its players in the armed forces, but was restarted after the war and played again until 1951 when they merged with the Salmonbellies.
In 1965, former players and executives resurrected the old team name in Coquitlam, and except for one year based in Portland, Oregon, in the professional league, the Adanacs have been in Coquitlam ever since.
While no one can doubt the Salmonbellie-Adanac rivalry, many big names in Salmonbellie history wore the purple and gold of the Adanacs at one point or another in their careers.
With thanks to Stan Shillington for historical detail.
Tonight, historic Queen’s Park Arena will open its doors for the first time this season as the Royal City’s beloved Senior Salmonbellies lacrosse team will be playing their home opener. Returning to the wooden floor for the first time since their heart-wrenching, game seven, overtime loss in last September’s Mann Cup series, the team is fresh and ready to start over in their drive for the 25th championship in club history.
New West will play host to the Langley Thunder beginning at 7:45pm. These two teams last met in round one of the 2009 Western Lacrosse Association play-offs when the ‘Bellies knocked the Thunder out in four straight games.
The 2010 season began for the ‘Bellies on Friday when they took to the road and beat the Lakers 9-3 in Burnaby. Since then, many of the team’s star players have returned from their off-season commitments of playing in the National Lacrosse League and in colleges and universities all over the continent. It is anticipated that the squad will be completely reunited by June 1.
Tonight is New Westminster Minor Lacrosse Appreciation Night. Every minor Salmonbellie who comes to the door in uniform will be admitted for free along with their family. (Langley minors in uniform will also be let in for free.) Tickets, for those without a uniform (or a NW minor) are available at the door. The Barn will open at 7pm and the first 500 fans in the door will receive a ‘Bellies magnet courtesy of ReMax Advantage Realty.
Come out and support the most historic team in lacrosse, your New Westminster Senior Salmonbellies, as they kick off their 121st season!
Carly Rigby is a New Westminster resident and Salmonbellies social media maven and is the voice behind @salmonbellies on Twitter.
A shipment of lacrosse sticks, warm-up jerseys, balls and assorted New Westminster Salmonbellies paraphernalia arrived on the base last month. They got to open it Christmas Eve.
“They were really excited,” said Tracy Brown, a Burnaby resident who got it all started.
“It was the hockey players that got their hands on it first. Some of them had never tried it so they all had the T-shirts on and went out to the rink right away and started playing with it.”
Brown has a friend whose brother, Brent Vanover, is a rabid Salmonbellies fan stationed in Afghanistan. She hooked him up with Salmonbellies president Dan Richardson, who organized the shipment that took about two months to get there, having to jump several bureaucratic hoops and getting sent to the U.S. postal depot instead of Canada’s.