Junior ‘Rocks Struggle at Home

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victoria shamrocks_JUNIOR

By Janice Huckin

Victoria (ISN) – There is a saying ‘there’s no place like home’ but the Jr. Shamrocks are not feeling it as they dropped their third straight home game, losing 9-8 to the visiting Burnaby Lakers Saturday.

Burnaby scored first, just 2:20 into the contest, Ryan Watson firing a high hard one by starting Shamrocks goaltender Mike Berti.  They didn’t hold the lead long, however, as Oliver Phillips converted a pass from the corner of the crease at 2:56, that goal coming with an extra attacker on the floor and a delayed penalty about to be called.  Starting Burnaby goalie Patrick Bayliss no doubt didn’t even see that one.  The Rocks followed up with another at 4:57, this one off the stick of Chris Wardle who gathered a lead pass from Berti to put the Rocks ahead.  That marker came while Victoria was playing shorthanded.  Adam Brown fired a hard shot, late in the 30-second clock from way out that somehow handcuffed Bayliss – or maybe he just wasn’t expecting it – either way, it opened up a 2-goal lead for the home team at 11:47.  Burnaby closed the gap to a goal at 12:19, Bryan Gillis ricocheting a shot to the back of the Victoria net.  Shots on goal were pretty even at 13-12 for the Lakers but the Shamrocks led 3-2 on the scoreboard.

Burnaby drew even right off the opening faceoff of period 2, Colton Dow scoring from the dotted line just 27 seconds in.  They drew ahead at 1:29 when Brendan Attwell scored.  The rest of the game the Rocks played catch-up.  Jordan Cunningham, an intermediate call-up, tied things up at 3:47, Berti getting his second assist of the game with a lead pass up the floor.  The teams traded goals, Burnaby getting counters from Dow and Josh Simons at 8:40 and 12:39.  The Shamrocks made a goaltending change, sending in Cody Hagedorn and the home team re-couped two goals before the end of the period.  Brody Eastwood collected one at 16:34 and Cunningham picked up his second, this one on the power play at 19:26.  Victoria had some chances to really put some distance between them with an earlier 3 minute power play that yielded very few shots and no goals.  The score after 40 minutes was 6-6. 

The visitors took the lead once again when Simons got his second of the contest at 1:30.  Jake Emms replied for the Rocks at 2:26 when Braden Kmita scooped up a loose ball and fired a floor-length pass to Emms behind the defense.  At 3:35 it was the Lakers once again pulling ahead, Jaeden Gastaldo scoring from very very close in.  Things were very physical and at 5:34 a couple of combatants squared off with Victoria’s Oliver Phillips getting a TKO over Adam Phillips (I’m assuming no relation).  Burnaby opened up a 2-goal lead at 11:43 when Gillis picked up his second of the game.  That proved to be the winner.   A 5-minute power play at the 13-minute mark when Burnaby’s Cameron Clark was given a major for butt-ending, failed to yield anything for the Rocks.  Victoria did get one more, Eastwood picking up his second off a rebound at 18:26 while Hagedorn was on the bench for the extra attacker. 

The result has the Shamrocks sitting in fourth place with 8 points behind Coquitlam, Delta and New Westminster.  Injuries continue to plague the team, although it was very promising to see Kurtis Green back in the line-up today.  As one comes back, another is lost, however.  Nick Sanderson was helped from the floor in obvious distress, his status unknown at this moment.

Brody Eastwood and Jordan Cunningham paced the Rocks with a pair of goals each.  Chris Wardle, playing a solid game at both ends of the floor, added a goal and 2 assists.  Jake Emms and Adam Brown each had 1 goal and 1 helper while Oliver Phillips had the other Victoria goal.  Mike Berti, while not finishing the game in goal, picked up a couple of assists.

Bryan Gillis, Colton Dow and Josh Simons each scored twice for the Lakers.

Things don’t get any easier for the Shamrocks as they take the ferry to the mainland to take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies Sunday.  Next home game for the Jr. Rocks is next Saturday, June 2 at 5:00 pm when they will face the Delta Islanders.. 

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