By Janice Huckin
Victoria (ISN) – There didn’t seem to be any nerves for the Jr. Shamrocks Saturday at Bear Mountain Arena as they jumped out to a 4-1 first period lead and walked out with a 10-4 victory over the visiting Delta Islanders.
Starting goaltenders were Cody Hagedorn for Victoria and Will Schwan for Delta. The first Shamrock goal came courtesy of a power play as Adam Brown’s quick stick found twine at 4:13. The Rocks made it 2-0 just 33 seconds later, Dane Schoor doing the honours. At 9:10, Conrad Chapman hit pay dirt for the home team, going to the net and converting a pass from Brown. At 16:25, Chris Wardle put the Shamrocks up 4-0, as the team made a full-court press down the floor. The visitors finally solved Hagedorn at 18:23, Tyler Nett putting the ball over the goalie. It was a fast period with end-to-end action; both teams had some great scoring chances as shots on goal were close with Delta holding a slim 13-12 edge in that category.
Delta came out quickly in period 2, scoring on a power play at the 1:05 mark, Mike Donaldson with the unassisted marker. That was the only goal they would score in the period as the Shamrocks replied with 3 unanswered. At 2:38 Blair Pinnock scored unassisted, picking up the loose ball and racing in. There was no more scoring until 11:25 when Devon Casey hit pay dirt. At 14:06 intermediate call-up Jake Cullen scored a short-handed marker for the Shamrocks. It was a beauty after Wardle had done an outstanding job of ragging the ball on the penalty kill and found Cullen who deked and shot. The Shamrocks were full value for the 7-2 lead as they consistently applied pressure to force loose balls. Delta outshot the Shamrocks 17-11 in the period as Hagedorn shut the visitors down time and again.
Things turned around early in the final period as Delta scored twice early. At 1:16, Nett getting his second of the game. When Mike Henry scored at 3:39, going 5-hole on Hagedorn to draw the visitors within 3 goals, Shamrocks head coach Larry Smeltzer called a time-out. No doubt he was reminding his charges how they had jumped out to the lead they had enjoyed. Whatever the message, the Rocks responded with strong defense and scored the final 3 goals of the game. Intermediate call-up Jordan Cunningham netted a goal at 13:18, another success off a loose ball and fast break. At the 15-minute mark, big Brandan Smith put another behind Schwan and at 18:18, Adam Brown collected his second of the game, on a power play, finishing off a great piece of passing and ball control to provide the margin of victory.
It was for the most part a very high energy game. The Shamrocks are still a few players short of a full roster and had 3 intermediate players in their line-up, all of whom looked quite comfortable.
Adam Brown led the team offensively with a pair of goals and 3 assists and also playing well defensively, something Smeltzer expects from all his players. Singles came from Conrad Chapman, Dane Schoor, Brandan Smith, Blair Pinnock, Chris Wardle, intermediate call-ups Jake Cullen and Jordan Cunningham, as well as Devon Casey who also chipped in a pair of helpers. Russell Kirk had 3 assists and team captain Jake Emms contributed 2 assists. Goaltender Cody Hagedorn stopped 43 of the 47 shots he faced and added an assist.
Tyler Nett had 2 goals for Delta with singles coming from Mike Henry and Mike Donaldson.
The Jr. Shamrocks are on the road to face Port Coquitlam Sunday and return to Bear Mountain Arena next Saturday, May 5. The visitors will be the Coquitlam Adanacs, defending B.C. champs and game time is 5:00 pm. If you really like lacrosse, come out and watch the Intermediate ‘A’ Shamrocks at 1:30 pm that same date when they will host the New Westminster Salmonbellies..