By Janice Huckin
(ISN) – The Jr. Shamrocks are holding down first spot in the B.C. Jr. A Lacrosse League standings by the slimmest of margins. Despite a strong start on the road, the Rocks lost their second in a row at home, going down to the New Westminster Salmonbellies by a 9-7 score Saturday.
Frank Scigliano, recently returned from the NLL, started in goal for the Bellies while Cody Hagedorn got the call at Victoria’s end of the floor. The Shamrocks have often gotten off to a quick start and they did so again this game, Russell Kirk putting a bouncer behind Scigliano at the 23-second mark with an extra attacker on the floor and a delayed penalty coming to the visitors.
After that, things went off the rails for the home team as New West scored 4 goals on 6 shots to take a 4-1 lead by the 5:23 mark of the period. Reagan Harding started the 4-goal run at 1:20 on a shot from the dotted line at 1:20. Just 19 seconds later it was Steven Ferdinandi beating Hagedorn low. At 3:45 Keegan Bal scored a shorthanded marker on a backhander in close and that was followed up by Harding’s second at 5:23. A quick goalie switch on Victoria’s part gave the Shamrocks time to re-group, Mike Bertie went in but Hagedorn was back between the pipes about a minute later. The Shamrocks responded at 11:19 when Intermediate call-up Chris Kasper scored but the Bellies added one more before the period would end, Kyle Dobbie scoring on a hard low shot at 17:32. The score after 20 minutes favoured the visitors by a 5-2 margin. They also had the edge in shots on goal by a 12-9 margin.
Only 3 goals were scored in the middle frame. The visitors opened scoring at 1:26 when Justin Goodwin raced in after picking up a loose ball. The Shamrocks replied at 9:05, Brody Eastwood getting in close to put the ball behind Scigliano. A power play goal by Dobbie, however, at 19:14 gave the visitors a 4-goal lead at the end of 2 periods. They also once again enjoyed the edge in shots on goal at 17-11.
The third period belonged to the Rocks as they outscored the visitors 4-2. At 6:11 Jake Emms notched a goal, some great perseverance paying dividends as he took the ball around the net and coaxed it in from the corner of the crease. It took only 22 seconds for New West to reply to that one, Ferdinandi picking up his second of the contest on what appeared to be a screened shot. At 10:04 the home team got a power play marker off the stick of Nick Sanderson after Adam Brown got the ball to him in front of the net after being knocked across the floor on his butt. That seemed to pump up the team and just 26 seconds later, Jake Cullen, also an Intermediate call-up, cranked in another off some quick passes. Their momentum was stymied at 12:29 when Anthony Malcolm scored with an over-the-shoulder shot. The Rocks threw all kinds of pressure at the Bellies in the late going, pulling Hagedorn for the extra attacker but it yielded only one more goal, that coming off the stick of Eastwood, his second of the game at 19:45. They did manage to outshoot the visitors 12-7 in the period.
The result gives the Shamrocks a 4-2 record, both losses coming at Bear Mountain Arena. They are 1 point ahead of Delta and 2 points ahead of Coquitlam which holds 3 games in hand.
Leading the way for Victoria was Brody Eastwood with 2 goals and 2 helpers. Team captain Jake Emms had a goal and an assist with other goals coming from Jake Cullen, Nick Sanderson, Russell Kirk and Chris Casper. Devon Casey chipped in 3 assists and the team’s leading scorer Adam Brown was limited to just 2 helpers. Goaltender Cody Hagedorn overcame a shaky start. After allowing 4 goals on 6 shots he kicked out 25 of the next 30.
For the Salmonbellies it was Kyle Dobbie leading the way with 2 goals and 3 assists. Steve Ferdinandi and Reagan Harding each had 2 goals and 2 helpers with singles coming from Keegan Bal, Justin Goodwin and Anthony Malcolm.
It was a game that most Shamrocks fans would agree was probably their worst of the young season. Many were wondering – who are these guys and what did they do with the Shamrocks? Regardless, they will have a week to regroup and have a couple of good practices as their next game is on the road next Saturday against the Langley Thunder. Next home game for the Jr. Rocks is in two weeks, Saturday May 26 when they will host the Burnaby Lakers.
If you are looking for some good lacrosse action next weekend, come out and watch the Intermediate ‘A’ Shamrocks. They will host the Richmond Roadrunners at 5:00 next Saturday, May 19 at Bear Mountain Arena. Admission to all intermediate games is by donation.