The Victoria Shamrocks and Nanaimo Timbermen capped off the 2017 Island rivalry with a shootout as the Shamrocks clinched a playoff berth after a 10-7 win at Frank Crane Arena.
Joe Resetarits picked up where he left off Friday, opening the scoring on a one-timer three and a half minutes in. Nanaimo was quick to respond as Jake Cullen tied the game thirty-seven seconds later. The Timbermen took their first lead of the game at 7:59 on a goal by Dan Michel, before it was Victoria’s turn to respond as Josh Fagan’s twelfth of the season. Nanaimo continued the exchange of goals, going up 3-2 thanks to Chase Fraser. There was a ten minute break in the action after the penalty box glass shattered on Mike Triolo, and the Shamrocks came out of it flying. The ‘Rocks scored three straight, with the markers coming from Resetarits, Paul Brebber and Casey Jackson. Nanaimo’s Jon Phillips cut the Victoria lead to 5-4, with just under two minutes remaining. Victoria outshot the hosts 25-18 in the frame and held onto that 5-4 advantage after twenty minutes.
Due to the glass breaking, the intermission occurred halfway through the first period and the teams carried right into the second stanza. Nanaimo tied the game on the power play at 7:49 as Quinn Smith tallied on a breakaway. Victoria took the lead back just seconds after killing off a Nanaimo power play to the delight of the travelling Shamrocks fans. Corey Small sent the section of green into a frenzy going post and in to regain the lead for Victoria. Three minutes later, on another Timbermen power play the home side found the equalizer in Jon Phillips’ second of the game. Nanaimo outscored Victoria 2-1 in the frame as the teams took the floor for the final twenty minutes with sixes on both sides of the scoreboard. Victoria held a 40-37 shot advantage.
Victoria capitalized on their first power play of the game just twenty-nine seconds into the third as Corey Small’s second of the game made it 7-6 Victoria. Paul Brebber made an excellent play, first tying up a Nanaimo shooters stick, then pushing it the length of the floor before finding Corey Small who made no mistake for his third of the game to make it 8-6. Under ninety seconds later, Chris Wardle scored to add some insurance in a three goal lead with six minutes left. Sheldon Burns put the game out of reach going coast to coast while avoiding the Nanaimo goalie who was racing to get back into his net, putting Victoria up 10-6. The Timbermen added a late goal but Victoria hung on for a 10-7 win and clinched a spot in the WLA Playoffs in the process.
Complete Game Stats: http://westernlacrosse.wttstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=3102284
Shamrocks player stats: http://westernlacrosse.wttstats.pointstreak.com/teamplayerstats.html?teamid=31984&seasonid=17042
Next game (Away): Friday July 21 at Burnaby Lakers, 7:00pm, Bill Copeland Arena, Burnaby