Shamrocks take a two-game lead in first round of WLA Playoffs
Janice Huckin, Victoria Shamrocks
The Shamrocks keep on rolling. After finishing the regular season with 5 straight wins, they have pulled into a 2-0 series lead in their best-of-seven semi-final series, beating the Burnaby Lakers 13-8 on the mainland.
The game was very close for the first two periods, as Victoria led 5-5 after the first and the teams were tied 8-8 after the second. The Lakers outshot the Shamrocks 36-27 over the first 40 minutes as the lead changed several times. The Rocks jumped out to a 3-0 lead by the 4:03 mark of the opening period on goals by Rhys Duch, Jesse King and Cory Conway, with Duch opening the scoring just 17 seconds into the game. Burnaby got within a goal and, by the 16:46 mark actually led by a goal before Steve Higgs gave the Shamrocks the 5-4 lead at 17:07.
The second period saw the Lakers jump into a 6-5 lead with a couple of early goals but the teams continued to trade goals until the 17:26 mark when Justin Salt pulled the home team into an 8-8 tie.
Victoria owned the third period as they outscored the Lakers 5-0, including a late empty netter by Ethan Garland as Adam Shute stood tall between the pipes to pick up the victory. He kicked out 41 of the 49 shots he faced. Rhys Duch led the Shamrocks offense with 3 goals and 4 assists giving him 15 points in the post season and earning first star honours. Cory Conway and Jesse King had a pair of goals and added 4 and 2 assists respectively. Defensive standout Greg Harnett also had a pair of goals to be named third star of the game. Singles came from Doug Langlois, Steve Higgs, Jeff Shattler and Ethan Garland. Tyler Burton once again dominated faceoffs, winning 17 while chipping in 3 assists.
Jason Jones led Burnaby’s attack with 2 goals and 3 helpers to gain second star honours while Tyler Richards went the distance in goal, making 31 saves in a losing cause.
We’re back on the floor at the Q Centre Friday at 6:00 pm – note the different time – for game 3 of the series. Tickets are available at www.victoriashamrocks.com, calling 250-478-ROCK, the arena box office at 11am or the team store at 9am.
Complete game stats: http://www.victoriashamrocks.com/stats/game//307/league/83203 (also attached)
Shamrocks playoff stats: http://www.wlalacrosse.com/stats/team/62/307/league//8071
WLA playoff leaders: http://www.wlalacrosse.com/stats/leaders?gametype=playoff
Next game (Home) Game 3 of WLA Semi Finals best of 7; Friday, Aug 12, Burnaby Lakers @ Victoria, 6pm, The Q centre