The Victoria Shamrocks are hunting down first place in the Western Lacrosse Association and helped their cause with an 11-9 win in Burnaby against the Lakers on Friday night.
Over the past two games, Victoria has moved up from fourth to third and now occupy second place, two points (18) behind the league-leading New Westminster Salmonbellies. The Shamrocks are 9-4 on the season and Burnaby 5-5-1, while the Salmonbellies sport a record of 10-3.
Leading the way for the Shamrocks on Friday was Rob Hellyer who scored a hat-trick and picked up a whopping five assists. Hellyer seems to have found his game as of late. Last game out, he led the Shamrocks scoring once and picking up four assists in a 7-6 win over the Maple Ridge Burrards. The game before, he picked up three assists in a 13-11 win over the Langley Thunder.
The Lakers got off to a hot start with a goal at 28 seconds by Dane Stevens. Hellyer would get one back from league points leader Jesse King and Casey Jackson. The period would end tied 3-3.
Stevens again scored early in the second at 1:16. Victoria would score four goals between 3:41 and 16:55 of the second. Goals came from the speedy Daniel Smith, Jackson, King and Hellyer with his second to take a 7-5 lead to the dressing rooms.
Taking a cue from Stevens, Eli McLaughlin would bury the ball at 58 seconds to start the third. Burnaby would score two more to take an 8-7 lead by 2:32.
To silence the 1,849 fans at Bill Copeland Arena, Victoria would score four of the next five goals for the comeback win. Josh Fagan, Hellyer with his hat-trick goal and Jackson on the powerplay for the game-winner at 14:10. With the fast-paced and quickly changing game of box lacrosse, Tyson Gibson made sure of the win by adding a marker for a two-goal lead on the Lakers at 15:13.
Cody Hagedorn stopped 38 of 49 shots fired his way, while Jake Sundar faced a barrage with 63, stopping 50.
The Shamrocks are in Langley on Wednesday night to play the Thunder before meeting the Maple Ridge Burrards in The Q Centre Friday and then visiting Coquitlam the following night.
WLA Senior A