The Victoria Shamrocks needed to win the remaining three games of the 2018 Western Lacrosse Association final playoff series against the Maple Ridge Burrards. Saturday night, down 3-1 in the series, they took an early lead, shot a torrent at goaltender Frank Scigliano (53 shots), but in the end, it wasn’t enough and lost by the score of 9-8.
“When you are working with a changing lineup right up until 6:25 before the game it is challenging,” said Coach Bob Heyes. “When you are not working with a Chris Wardle or a Jesse King and other guys are banged up, the effort was phenomenal. Each guy in that room represented the Shamrock crest right to the bottom of their heart. They didn’t give up, right to the last opportunity.”
The Shamrocks likely played their best game of the season on Thursday in Maple Ridge but were taken in double overtime 8-7. They played just as well Saturday.
Thursday, it was the Ben McIntosh show. He scored five goals including all three of the first period goals, the game-tying goal, to force overtime as well as the sudden death overtime winner.
While the Shamrocks held Curtis “Superman” Dickson in check, McIntosh stepped up as did both goaltenders, Adam Shute and Frank Scigliano.
During Saturday’s must-win Game 5 at The Q Centre, Casey Jackson seemed to channel McIntosh from Game 4, scoring a natural hat-trick to put the Shamrocks up 3-0 during the first period, before the Burrards would get a couple back. With 59.4 seconds remaining in the first period, Rob Hellyer ran in on Scigliano’s right, stick-side and dropped the ball over his right shoulder to put the Shamrocks up 4-2. With 11.5 seconds remaining, Dickson went through a defender before firing a clever shot cross-goal past a second defender and over Shute’s right shoulder.
The Shamrocks wasted no time to start the second period. At 12 seconds, Tyson Gibson scored on a shot that dribbled in after Scigliano’s initial save. Dan Taylor would score a spectacular goal. He ran into the slot area with a defender draped over him and fired a behind-the-back shot that went short side at 3:50.
Steve Priolo set up a tremendous goal at 5:39 to put the Shamrocks up 6-4. He ran in on a partial breakaway, passed back to Wade who made no mistake, firing a rocket to the back of the net.
Dickson scored two in a row to complete the hat-trick and more importantly to tie the score at 6-6. He scored at 10:45 and 13:24, respectively.
The Shamrocks would continue to press Scigliano, but he held the fort for the remainder of the period.
The Burrards took back-to-back tripping penalties at 5:36 and 7:22. The Shamrocks were just not able to solve Scigliano. Tyler Codron took a five-minute penalty for slashing as he hacked down Casey Jackson in the Burrards end.
The Burrards would score a shorthanded marker at 8:48 to take the lead and some of the air out of the building.
Jackson would unleash a powerful stick-side shot that found the back of the net at 9:10. Golia and Gibson would assist on play. Ryan Fournier would take a two-minute cross-checking penalty at 9:14. The shots would continue. Chase McIntyre would score at 15:44 to put the Burrards up for the first time during the game. The momentum was shifting.
Then Dickson, living up to his nickname as Superman, scored one of his most spectacular goals of the year, where he rolled off of a couple of defenders, right, then left then went around Shute to the goaltender’s top right shoulder. The back-breaking goal came at 19:04 to put the Burrards up by two – The Q Centre went quiet.
At 19:19, Jackson scored his fifth to pull back within one, but in the end, it wasn’t enough.
“They have the right mix of players to win the Mann Cup back east. Their goaltender Frank Scigliano and their offence are well put together,” said Coach Bob Heyes.
“I can’t say enough about the juniors and the team we had in place. They did their best and will only be better next year,” said Captain Matt Yager.
EXTRAS: The Shamrocks were playing without Jesse King and Chris Wardle due to injury. The Shamrocks were also missing Casey Jackson during Game 4.