Intermediate ‘Rocks Drop Home Opener

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victoria shamrocks

By Janice Huckin

(ISN) – The Intermediate ‘A’ Shamrocks got behind early in their home opener Saturday at Bear Mountain Arena and dropped a 14-11 decision to the visiting Coquitlam Adanacs, despite a valiant comeback attempt in the third period.

Starting goaltenders were Tanner Hodgson for the home squad and Andrew Overhault for the visitors.  The Adanacs jumped out to a 2-goal lead early as Cody Reed scored on the power play at 4:17 of the opening frame and just 30 seconds later Jaden Epplette got in on a breakaway to put the ball behind Hodgson.  At 8:18 another power play marker, the second of the contest for Reed, put Coquitlam ahead 3-0.  The Shamrocks responded at 9:40 when the diminutive Wyatt Oickle fought his way to the front of the net and grabbed a pass from Curtis Gailey.  At 13:49 the Rocks drew within a goal when Nate Wade connected on a bullet through traffic.  Unfortunately, penalties continued to plague the home team and Coquitlam scored 4 unanswered goals, 2 of them with the man advantage, to take a 7-2 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes.

It looked like things might turn around for the Shamrocks in the middle frame as Jordan Cunningham scored a short-handed marker just 5 seconds in.  That wasn’t to be the case as the Adanacs bounced back with a pair at 2:24 and 3:04.  The Rocks didn’t quit and responded with 4 of the next 5 goals.  Cunningham scored his second at the 3:30 mark, finding twine from the corner of the crease.  Chris Kasper followed that up with an end-to-end rush at 6:18.  Coquitlam squeezed in another power play goal at 7:36 before the home team added a couple more.  Darrin Wilson buried a hard shot at 9:18 and followed up with a power play goal at 11:35.  That made the score a respectable 10-7 for the visitors.  Unfortunately they were unable to stem the tide and the Adanacs scored two more before the period ended making it 12-7.  The good news was that the offense for Victoria had matched that of Coquitlam.  The bad news – they were still behind by 5.

There was some more good news for the boys in green in period 3, however, as they outscored the visitors 4-2, including a couple more power play goals.  It was Cunningham notching his third of the contest on the power play at the 42-second mark, picking up the ball from a scrum and going in unmolested.  At 1:28 team captain Max Fredrickson scored, getting in close, diving across and beating Overhault.  Just 16 seconds letter, Coquitlam replied with Cam Bateman putting the ball over Hodgson.  Another power play goal for the Rocks off the stick of Jake Cullen at 16:06 pulled the home team within 3 goals.  Cunningham picked up his fourth of the game at 17:40 got the Rocks really close as he fired a bullet just inside the post.  Coquitlam put the game away with a goal at the 18:12 mark, the fourth of the game from Cody Reed.

Talking post-game with head coach Keith Hagedorn, he noted that there were some good things that came out of the game.  While the Adanacs have been together for a long time, this year’s Shamrocks team is a mix of players new to each other.  Had they stayed out of the penalty box, the outcome certainly could have been different as Coquitlam scored 6 times with the man advantage.  It’s something to build on and the Shamrocks tied the second period and won the third.

Leading the way for the Shamrocks was Jordan Cunningham with 4 goals and 1 assist.  Darrin Wilson added a pair with singles coming from Jake Cullen, the energetic Wyatt Oickle, Chris Kasper, Nate Wade and Max Fredrickson who also chipped in 3 assists.  Tanner Hodgson went the distance in goal and contributed a couple of assists.  The Intermediate Shamrocks are on the road Sunday and return to Bear Mountain next Saturday, May 5 to take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies.  Game time is 1:30 pm and as always admission is by donation.

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