The Victoria Shamrocks took on the Maple Ridge Burrards at Cam Neely Arena Sunday night in Game 2 of their best-of-seven Western Lacrosse Association final series and lost by the score of 9-7.
The Shamrocks brought the Burrards down to earth on Friday by defeating them 9-4 in Victoria. The fourth-place Burrards turned heads when they swept the first-place New Westminster Salmonbellies during the first round.
“We are going to see a very different game on Sunday in Maple Ridge,” said Coach Bob Heyes, after Game 1. He was correct as the game saw offensive flair mixed in with some emotion.
Sunday, the teams got off to a quick start with the Shamrocks scoring at 1:18 and then the Burrards scored the next two goals by 2:12 of the first.
Hellyer had hung onto the ball to the right (stick-side) of goaltender Frank Scigliano, drew a defender and then slipped the ball to Tyson Gibson, who fired a close-in shot. Casey Jackson earned the second assist on the play.
Jean-Luc Chetner unassisted and Curtis Dickson from McIntosh and Riley Loewen combined for the next two goals.
The game appeared to be turning into a barnburner, but the teams settled down and 6:07 passed before Hellyer scored from Jesse King and Zac Christianson at 8:19. Hellyer scored again at 18:33 from Matt Yager and Adam Shute. Hellyer would go onto factor in all but one of the Shamrocks goals, scoring three times and assisting on four others.
The score at the end of the first period was 3-3. At 19:39 of the first, Tyler Codron cross-checked Rhys Duch to the face, taking a 5-minute major. Duch had just returned to the play after tweaking a lower-body injury earlier in the first.
To start the second period, the Burrards scored two early goals on the penalty kill at 1:35 and again 1:46. The Shamrocks got one back. Dickson and Cornwall scored for the Burrards and Gibson for the Shamrocks with his second of the game. It was a pretty behind-the-back passing sequence between Hellyer and Duch, who earned assists on the play.
Tempers began to flare for both teams. After a series of short powerplays back and forth and coincidental penalties, the Burrards went to work on the 5-on-5 play and scored their sixth goal at 16:21. Chetner picked up his second goal of the game close-in on Adam Shute.
At 19:14 of the second period, Greg Harnett dropped Dickson and then cross-checked him from behind. He served a double-minor and the Shamrocks stonewalled the Burrards’ powerplay.
The Shamrocks took another penalty at 3:36 as Duch took a minor for cross-checking. After drawing 17 minutes in penalties, he would sit for two of his own. The Shamrocks scored on the kill with another pretty passing play. It was rookie McCulley from Hellyer.
Shute appeared to be asking the referee for a timeout, fired the ball behind his net, Chetner collected it and scored. Although Shute played an outstanding game in goal, that was a crucial giveaway and the wrong time.
Hellyer and King scored at 12:55 and 13:18 to tie the game, but Dan Taylor scored to take the lead 8-7 for the Burrards. Taylor’s marker was a tremendous behind the back goal from the slot.
Dickson aka “superman” gave the Burrards a two-goal lead, 9-7. He casually sauntered into the slot and released a bullet top-right corner on Shute over the top of Priolo. At 19:28, Duch shot a rocket from the top of the slot that Scigliano likely wished he could have back, but the Shamrocks ran out of time.
The Shamrocks went 1/3 on the man advantage, while the Burrards were blanked on their five opportunities.
The Burrards outshot the Shamrocks 43-42.
The teams return to action on Tuesday, when they play Game 3 at The Q Centre. Game time is 6:30 pm.