The Vancouver Island Lacrosse League has 6 regular season games left in the schedule plus next weeks VILL All-Star game and only 1st, 2nd, and 8th positions in the standings are set after tonight's games. What does the season look like now, you ask? Well lets break it down...

The Saanich Express looked to have a lock on the league title in 2024 but losing 3 of their last 5 games all but assured they would lose top spot to the Dudes with Good Attitudes™. The Blazers played the Firefighters tonight and both teams appeared to be paying "spares" to come and play as both teams were really shorthanded this evening. The Blazers jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Bucket Brigade wouldn't let the Space Cats out of their sights and would eventually tie the game in the 2nd period. More back and forth action saw the Blazers take another 2 goal lead before relinquishing it yet again to the short-manned GVFA Smoke Eaters. When the game all looked like it would be a tie, an untimely penalty would give the Hot Shots a man-up advantage and with :18 seconds left in the game, Casey Moore buries the game winner to secure the victory for the Smoke Eaters and assure them a spot in the standings that isn't in the cellar.

With the Firemen's win, the Rats will not be able to catch the Firefighters for 7th and the Blazers will take the 2nd place spot and the Express just in top spot based on their head to head match-up with the Blazers.

So what does this mean for the rest of the league? Well here it is broken down, so these lacrosse players can understand it <lol>

The Tugmen sit in 3rd, the Jokers in 4th and the Aces and Thunder in a tie for 6th but all four teams are separated by a measly 3 points. The Tugmen could secure the 3rd place spot with a win over the Firefighters but will have to wait a long 12 days until that is determined.

The Jokers have two games left (away and home) versus each Cowichan team and could contend for the 3rd spot with victories against the Thunder and Rats but would need help from the Smoke Eaters as well to take that position from the Tugmen.

The Westshore Aces have buried the ace of spades and have found lady luck recently, with 3 straight "W's" the Aces have climbed out of 7th spot to 5th and could climb yet to 4th or even 3rd with a bit of help. A drive up the Malahat on Saturday to play the Rats and a tough Tuesday late night game next week vs. the Blazers, makes the Aces chances a bit tougher to stack their deck and keep climbing in the "W" column but you can't count them out!

The Thunder are in a tie with the Aces but the card counters have the tie-breaker. The Thunder's journey can appear as equally daunting as they face the Victoria Jokers on Saturday night at the CCC in Duncan. The following Tuesday has Thor and his crew praying to the God's that their stone hammer holds strong and doesn't collapse as they will face the unpredictable Firemen.

This leaves the Cowichan Rats... the Rats have had the worst luck all season with a shortage of players due to work commitments, injuries, a lack of babysitters in the Cowichan Valley so players can't travel, etc. <wink, wink> The only team in the VILL with a team bus, the 2nd best social media page in the VILL and the only team with a restaurant chain named after them... "Chuck E. Cheese" and all of that, still plagues the chaps nicknamed the Rats - who will have the task of facing the 1st place Express in the first round of the playoffs.

Playoffs are estimated to begin Thursday July 4th at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre @ 7:50pm.