Luke Van Huizen had a goal and an assist as the Rats tied the Victoria Blazers on Saturday. (Paula Harris photo)

Luke Van Huizen had a goal and an assist as the Rats tied the Victoria Blazers on Saturday. (Paula Harris photo)

Cowichan Rats play best lacrosse yet in tie

Rats remain second in VSLL after draw with Blazers

The S&B General Contractors Cowichan Rats played their best game of the season so far in a 4-4 tie with the Victoria Senior Lacrosse League-leading Blazers on Saturday night.

The Rats were strong at both ends of the Cowichan Arena floor and got an outstanding performance from goaltender Kevin Smith as they bounced back from a 9-1 loss to the same team in Esquimalt nine days earlier.

Smith made 34 stops as the Blazers outshot the Rats 38-26. Cowichan’s goals came from Dylan Dewarle, Luke Van Huizen, Conor Manahan — on a feed from his dad, Kevin — and Curt Gailey. Gailey added two assists on the night and Van Huizen had one.

The Blazers scored three of their four goals on the powerplay, taking advantage of the Rats’ extremely on-brand 42 penalty minutes. The Blazers were assessed just 10 minutes in penalties.

With the tie, the Rats’ record stands at four wins, two losses and one tie, and the first-year team remains second in the VSLL behind the Blazers.

Cowichan visits the Wsanec Arrow on Thursday, and hosts the Blazers again this Saturday at the Cowichan Arena, beginning at 7:30 p.m.