The Victoria Shamrocks won Game 2 of their Western Lacrosse Association first-round playoff series in Nanaimo at the Frank Crane Arena Friday night, by the score of 8-4.
Rhys Duch scored a hat-trick. It was a good comeback effort for Duch. The former league scoring champion appeared hobbled during Game 1.
He opened the scoring at 4:13 on the powerplay. Rob Hellyer earned the only assist on the goal.
Nanaimo’s Mason Pynn was in the sin bin for two minutes for roughing.
It was the fast start that the Shamrocks needed. They have been prone to slow starts.
They have also been prone to lose on the road going 5-4-0 during the regular season, while the Timbermen had a stellar home record this year going 8-1-0.
One minute and 16 seconds later, Jesse King scored to put the visitors up 2-0. Tyson Gibson picked up the only assist on the goal.
Nanaimo settled down and then got on the board themselves at 12:09. Dan Soresnson scored from Chase Fraser and Keenan Koswin.
Seven minutes later, Casey Jackson put the Shamrocks up 3-1 on the powerplay, with Duch and Hellyer assisting. Adam Jay was serving two for tripping.
A 3-1 lead in the WLA is nothing, but motivation. To start the second period, Duch scored at 1:09 on the powerplay unassisted – another fast start for the Shamrocks.
Chris Wardle, Greg Harnett and Duch again, scored each, while Jon Phillips got Nanaimo’s second goal of the game.
The teams would start the third period with the Shamrocks up 6-2. The Shamrocks, guilty of trying to run with the Timbermen in Game 1, would need to keep Nanaimo at bay for the third.
Nanaimo scored twice early with Drew Belgrave scoring at 1:14 unassisted, then Colton Clark on the powerplay at 2:32 from Phillips and Carn Wengreniuk.
Tyson Gibson scored at 3:37 to put the Shamrocks up 8-4 and that’s the way it remained.
Despite the low-scoring third period, both teams got off 17 shots during that final frame.
Duch led the way with 3 goals and 1 assist, while Gibson added three assists to his goal. Hellyer picked up five assists.
Charles Claxton who was solid during Game 1 in net for the Timbermen stopped 40 of 48 shots, while Adam Shute returned to the nets for Game 2 and stopped 34 of 38 shots fired his way.
Victoria went 3/7 on the man advantage, while Nanaimo went 2/5.
The teams return to The Q Centre Sunday for Game 3 with a 7:30 pm start.