The Road to the Mann Cup just got a little closer for the Victoria Shamrocks Tuesday night. Victoria is off to the Western Lacrosse Association Finals after taking down the first place Lakers in Burnaby, winning two of four games on the road, including the series opener and clincher along with two games in front of the Shamrocks Nation. Victoria held Burnaby sniper Robert Church to just a goal, as Aaron Bold made forty-five saves on route to an 8-7 win.
The Lakers opened the scoring with a goal from Eli McLaughlin, but that was answered on Joe Resetarits’ ninth of the playoffs, as Casey Jackson found him cutting back door. The goal came on a six on five man advantage with a delayed penalty against Burnaby. Burnaby replied as Jackson Decker finished off a pick and roll to regain the Laker lead. Greg Harnett was penalized for five minutes late in the period and was able to kill off the final two minutes and change, with 2:51 carrying over to the second period. Burnaby held a 2-1 lead after the first period and outshot Victoria 15-10.
Burnaby capitalized on the power play in the second as Robert Church made it 3-1, Victoria quickly answered with a shorthanded marker to trim it back to one. Tyler Has cruised right down Main Street beating Eric Penney low, making it 3-2 Burnaby. The teams continued to exchange goals, as Casey Jackson tied the game with his tenth. Josh Byrne then gave Burnaby their fourth one goal lead of the game, before Chris Wardle equalized it twenty-three seconds later. Victoria took their first lead on Resetarits’ second of the game, as he squeaked a low shot past Penney. Victoria added one more with 0.1 seconds left in the period, Casey Jackson scooped up a loose ball and fired it into the back of the net as the buzzer sounded to add some insurance and hold a 6-4 lead.
Victoria used a pair of goals ten minutes apart to go up 8-5 with just over five minutes left, Joe Resetarits scored on a delayed penalty, then Casey Jackson finished off his hat trick with an outside bomb. Burnaby scored a pair late but it was not enough, as Victoria outlasted the Lakers 8-7 on the road in game seven. Stone Cold Aaron Bold was the story, he stopped forty-five of fifty-two shots in the win, including twenty-one in the third period.
Victoria now awaits the winner of the Maple Ridge and New Westminster series, with the Burrards hosting game seven on Wednesday. The Shamrocks will open up the Finals on the road on Friday, August 18th, before hosting game two at the Q Centre on Sunday, August 20th at 6pm.
Tickets for the WLA Finals go on sale Wednesday at 9am at the team store located at 967 Langford Parkway, over the phone at 250-478-7625 or at victoriashamrocks.com. As a reminder, season ticket holders have their seats guaranteed until 5pm the day before the home game.
Next game: WLA Finals, Game 1, Friday August 18th, 6pm, Victoria @ Winner of other series
Next HOME game: WLA Finals, Game 2, Sunday, August 20th, 6pm, Winner of other series @ Victoria, the Q Centre