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Keegan Bal’s Eight-Goal Night Against Wings, Second of His Career

Keegan Bal had 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) in the Warriors’ 21-12 routing of the Philadelphia Wings over the weekend. 

It was the second time in his career he’s accomplished the sock trick plus two and is one of only two players in NLL history since 2005 that have scored eight or more goals on two or more two occasions. The other player to achieve it was 2022 NLL Hall of Fame inductee John Grant Jr. 

“It’s a humbling stat for sure. I grew up watching John Grant Jr. And idolizing him, he’s one of my favourite players,” Bal said. “The things he could do with the stick are incredible. I think he’s got the best, if not top-three best stick skills to ever play the game.” 

Only two other NLL players have scored eight goals this season: Panther City’s Callum Crawford and Las Vegas Desert Dogs’ Casey Jackson. Bal says it’s great company and admires Crawford’s creativity and has modeled some of his game after him. 

Bal had a hand in 13 of the 21 goals scored by the Warriors against the Wings. There’s no ego in their game, if someone gets hot or there are a few guys rolling, they know to get that teammate open and feed them the rock. 

He credits his team with getting him the ball at the right time for Grade A chances, and being able to finish a variety of looks, Bal said the team was synced on the floor. 

“I would say it’s a flow state. You’re just completely in the zone and I just think we were playing really well as a team. We were running our plays really well, we were hitting our spots, hitting our shots, and some nights everything aligns and comes together,” said the 32-year-old forward. 

One of the mantras of General Manager and Head Coach Curt Malawsky is ‘Honest Effort, Honest Result’ and says Bal’s early morning workouts and putting in the extra work when no one is watching helps set him up for success. 

“It’s not by fluke that he goes off and gets eight goals because he puts the work in during the week and he does what he needs to do and he’s the ultimate pro, he’s in great shape. What a student of the game, he’s all ears in practice, we talk about coming down the alley and cutting right across the net and seeing him do that in the third quarter [was awesome], he’s a pleasure to coach,” Malawsky said. 

As the team continues to work on their plays and timing to facilitate for each other, they also did a good job of getting to the middle of the floor. In a 21-goal effort there was plenty of scoring inside and they battled to get to the front of the net. 

On an outside look, Bal connected on a nifty backhand for his eighth goal. 

“I was on the wrong side of the floor, so it was open, and I took it,” he said. 

With a new Warriors coaching staff coming aboard this season and bringing over a dozen new players into the fold it took them some time to gel. 

It was a tough start to the season for the group and Bal says he doesn’t shy away from the fact that he struggled on the floor to start the year, but being a seven-year NLL veteran, he knows how to maneuver the ebbs and flows of a season. 

He was consistent with the work he put in and knew there’d be a light at the end of the tunnel. 

“When things aren’t working out or you’re gripping the stick a little harder than you need to, trying to force things that maybe aren’t there. I just truly believe that if you put in the work, put your head down and just go to work, you figure out ways to get better and good things are bound to come your way. That’s really how I approached that time,” he said.  

“I’m happy where we are right now and I think we’re building a ton of momentum, and we want to keep that going until the end of the season.”

Vancouver Warriors