Rhys Duch fires a rocket to score – photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

So far the Victoria Shamrocks and the Maple Ridge Burrards have failed to win at home during the Western Lacrosse Association final playoff series.

“Someone is going to have to,” said Corey Small after game three.

With the series tied at two, the Burrards visited the Shamrocks for pivotal game five at The Q Centre in Colwood tonight and subsequently defeated them 12-8.

Coach Bob Heyes was sticking to his mantra, “we have to re-group, tidy up a few things and go into their building prepared.”

It’s gut check time.

He added with a bit of an exasperated chuckle, “we are not making this easy on ourselves.”

The Shamrocks kept up with the Burrards throughout the game save for a few minutes during the second period, “…and that’s what cost us the game,” said Heyes.

The Burrards got off to a fast start by scoring at the 40 second mark on a goal by Ryley Loewen. Tyler Burton took a penalty 34 second later and it appeared that the Burrards, with pressure, were going to score again, but the Shamrocks rebounded quickly by gaining possession and drew their own powerplay at 2:49. Corey Small wasted no time in evening up the score. Rhys Duch and Jeff Shattler assisted.

Small played large tonight and was the best player in the game, but Frank Scigliano was not letting much in.

The Shamrocks needs to solve Scigliano. Again they threw more than 50 shots at him.

With the shot clock running out on the Burrards, Mike Mallory cruised in behind the net and back out front before depositing a deft and demoralizing, behind –the-back shot into the net.

Even though both teams had excellent scoring opportunities during the first period, the score remained 2-1 for the Burrards throughout, but with just seven seconds remaining Cory Conway got in tight against goaltender Frank Scigliano and put the ball over his right shoulder to tie the game 2-2. Goaltender Adam Shute earned an assist on the goal.
Asked if the ‘Rocks need to get in past the Burrards defence better and get in tight on Scigliano, Chris Wardle said, “absolutely.”

Shots were 19-15 ‘Rocks after one.

At 4:11 of the second period Ben McIntosh scored unassisted, then within 41 seconds the Burrards scored two more. They were getting through the five hole on Adam Shute.  Coach Heyes pulled him in favour of Cody Hagedron at 13:25.

Cory Conway scores to tie it up 2-2 – Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Small scored to bring the Shamrocks within two, but the Burrards got two more quick ones to move the score to 7-3. Again a goaltending change took place at the 10:11 mark, but the Burrards got an awkward goal to make it 8-3; a floater over the shoulder of Shute by Owen Barker.

Just when it appeared that the Burrards had put in their ninth goal and seventh of eight in a row, they were ruled on a crease violation – the Shamrocks came back with one of their own from Jeff Shattler which was assisted by Conway and Marhal King.

Shattler appears to being seeing more time with the top line against the physical Burrards; he is paying for it, as he limped off the floor at the end of the game.

Small’s third goal of the evening was a powerplay marker at 1:34 of the third to bring the score within reach at 8-6, Shattler and Conway assisted.

Matt Yager may have been the best Shamrock during the third period.

At the 14:29 mark Ethan Garland scored on an effort that he would not want to miss on considering Yager’s tremendous play. He ran from his own end fending off a Burrard the entire way, dropped the ball and kicked it to the front of the net for Garland.

At 18:09, the favour was returned, as he took off down the floor on a break-a-way while Small created interference on a defending Burrard player. Yager scored, Small did not get an assist, but he indeed assisted.

With Shattler limping and less than a minute remaining in the game, it officially became out of reach. With Shute pulled in favour of the extra attacker, the Burrards scored their 12th to put the game away. Ben McIntosh completed his hat-trick on the play.

The two go at it again in Maple Ridge on Friday at 6:00 PM. If the Shamrocks win, they will be back at The Q Centre on Sunday at 6:00 PM. The team that wins this series will be playing for the prestigious Mann Cup – the Shamrocks are the defending champions.

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