Victoria returned to the friendly and loud confines of The Q Centre with a chance to take a 2-0 series lead in the WLA Semi-Final Playoffs.
The Lakers opened the scoring as Robert Church tallied his fourth of the series just over a minute in. Victoria answered immediately after killing the majority of a Laker power play in the offensive zone. Chris Wardle evened it after finishing off a pick and roll with Corey Small. Church scored his second of the game with five minutes left in the period to regain the one goal lead for Burnaby. The Lakers then capitalized twice in transition, with goals from Decker and McFetridge to take a 4-1 lead. Church finished off the hat trick in the last minute giving the Lakers a 5-1 lead after twenty minutes. Burnaby held an 18-11 shot advantage.
The Shamrocks clawed back with a pair of goals fifty-seven seconds apart in the second, Resetarits and Small trimmed the deficit to 5-3. Small was at it again seven minutes later, beating Burnaby goaltender Eric Penney five hole to make it a one goal game with his second of the night. The Lakers stopped the ‘Rocks run as Cam Milligan scored his third of the playoffs to put Burnaby back in front by two. The Lakers led 6-4 after two periods, outshooting Victoria 17-14 in the middle stanza.
The Shamrocks started the third on their first power play of the game, and the captain capitalized. Small ripped his third of the night past Penney to make it a one goal game. Moments later Casey Jackson tied the game on a cut to the net, sending the Q Centre into a frenzy. The ‘Rocks kept rolling as Casey Jackson found some space and then the back of the net to give Victoria its first lead at 7-6. Victoria was given another power play chance with seven minutes left in the third and Resetarits buried his third of the game to add some insurance for Victoria. For the second straight game, Sheldon Burns iced the game with an empty netter as his goal with just over three minutes left made it 9-6. The Shamrocks scored 6 times in the third period and held on to the three goal cushion to take a 2-0 series lead with game three on Monday in Burnaby and game four back at The Q Centre on Wednesday.
Robert Church was the games third star, Corey Small was given second-star honours with three goals and four assists, and Aaron Bold was the game’s first star with thirty-eight saves on forty-four shots. Resetarits added five points, and Jackson added three.
The Shamrocks were still without many of their regulars, Rhys Duch, both Jon and Greg Harnett, Matt Yager, and Ben McCullough have missed both games of the series.
Long-time volunteers of the organization, Eve and Murray Rhode along with Lewis Ratcliff were honoured during the first 1stermission and will be added to the Shamrocks wall of fame.
Complete game stats: http://westernlacrosse.wttstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=3170678
Next game (Away) (Game 3 in best of 7 series): Monday August 7th, 6pm at Bill Copeland arena
Next HOME game (Game 4 in the best of 7 series): Wednesday August 9th, 6pm, The Q Centre, Tickets atvictoriashamrocks.com, by calling 250-478-7625, team store at 967 Langford Parkway or the arena at noon on game day.