Curtis “Superman” Dickson was flying and diving effectively Tuesday night at The Q Centre, as he scored five goals and drew penalties and change of possessions all-night long.
First and second-period hat-tricks by Ben McIntosh and Dickson helped thwart a chance for the Victoria Shamrocks to take a 2-1 series lead against the Maple Ridge Burrards in their best of seven Western Lacrosse Association final.
As did the stellar play of goaltender Frank Scigliano, who stymied the Shamrocks during the first period. He had his best game of the playoffs.
“He played a great game. He is the Goaltender of the Year. Good for him,” said Coach Bob Heyes. “We’ve got to find a way to beat him.”
Greg Harnett agreed. “He moves really well and is a blocker style goalie; we are going to have to find other ways to beat him.”
“Our offence could have been better from top to bottom tonight and I am sure they will improve for next game,” he added, “that’s why I play defence.”
Victoria won the opener at The Q Centre, while the Burrards took Game 2 at Cam Neely Arena in Maple Ridge on Sunday.
At 2:55 of the first, the Burrards opened the scoring. Ben McIntosh rolled off a Shamrocks defender and deposited the ball over the left shoulder of goaltender Adam Shute. Tyler Cordon and Dayne Michaud assisted on the play. It was the first of three in the period for McIntosh. He would end up with six points.
The Shamrocks got on the board early during the second period, with Tyson Gibson scoring at 45 seconds, but Superman went to work and scored four goals in a row, interrupted only by a Rhys Duch marker. The Shamrocks kept themselves in the game by scoring three shorthanded goals during the period. Duch, Gibson and Jesse King each took advantage.
However, the Shamrocks couldn’t catch a break and took seven penalties, much to the annoyance of the 1,614 fans in attendance and to some of the Shamrocks players.
Shute was pulled in favour of Cody Hagedorn after 27:04 of play.
Asked about the apparent diving, especially by Dickson, an emotional Coach Bob Heyes said, “We don’t play that way. This is the WLA finals and this shouldn’t be happening. The refs are buying into it. If this continues, we are going to have to take matters into our own hands, and those dives will be for a good reason.”
“I can’t comment, but you are asking the question, so it is pretty obvious,” said Duch.
The Shamrocks’ opportunity to get back in the hunt for the win came at 8:14 of the third when the Burrards took two minors one to Kevin Reid for holding as he grabbed Matt Yager’s jersey, the other was to Michaud for illegal cross-checking.
The Shamrocks didn’t waste the chance and fired a barrage of shots at Scigliano with Rhys Duch whistling his powerful shots to the back of the net at 8:51 and 9:27. They closed the score to 7-6 after starting the period down 7-4.
Dickson would score his fifth and Jean-Luc Chetner would add another to put the game out of reach.
Rob Hellyer scored while Hagedorn was pulled in favour of the extra attacker from Jesse King and Casey Jackson.
King would lead the way for the Shamrocks with one goal and five assists. McIntosh scored three times and picked up three assists.
The powerplays went 2/7 and 2/4 for the Burrards and Shamrocks, respectively.
The teams return to Maple Ridge for Game 4 on Thursday and back to Victoria for Game 5 on Saturday.
EXTRA: The Shamrocks went without Brad McCulley, who returned to college. He is a midfielder with the Robert Morris Colonials. The Victoria native played well in his stint with the Shamrocks picking up seven points in seven playoff games. Junior Marhsal King could be seen in the pre-game warm-up but didn’t dress.