By Ron Loftus
Les Norman is a proud guy and a fierce competitor. So when he was almost booed off the floor in Saturday’s 21-12 loss to Detroit Olympics in the opening game of the National Lacrosse Association finals you know that it really hurt the big fellow.
So when he came back Monday night and stood the Olympics on their collective ears it was no surprise to those who have seen Large Lester performing in the New Westminster nets for the past decade.
Norman turned in another sensational performance in the New Westminster nets as Salmonbellies stung Detroit 16-12 to tie the best-of-seven series 1-1.
Ironically, Norman stole an act from Detroit goalkeeper Merv Marshall’s play. He fired two long passes for Salmonbellies’ 12th and 13t goals as the Fishmen pulled away with a powerful third quarter burst.
Marshall is the man known for putting offence into goalkeeping but he was overshadowed last night.
It was Detroit’s fast breaks that ruined the Salmonbellies in the first game of the series but last night New Westminster turned the tables completely. They caught the eastern champions with their defences down several times in the third period.
Salmonbellies checking returned to the form that earned them the western championship and the managed to cope with Detroit’s great Gaylord Powless. The ‘Bellies picked Powless up in his own end and stayed with him all night and held him to one goal. He scored five in the first game.
Norman robbed Powless several times and pulled off unbelievable saves on Ross Jones, Chuck Li and Joe Krasnaj.
Wayne Shuttleworth, who was red-hot in the western semifinals against Vancouver, regained his scoring eye, rattling home four goals. Larry Henry and rookie Ed Goss finally found the range with three and two goals respectively. With these three on target, playing coach Cliff Sepka’s sometime sputtering offence demands a little more respect.
Detroit coach Jim Bishop said after the first game of the series that he wasn’t conned by the Salmonbellies poor effort. Last night’s effort gave him a better indication of what he has to contend with.
(from New Westminster playoff game program, October 9, 1968)