Rocks Trounce Islanders

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victoria shamrocks

By Janice Huckin

The Intermediate ‘A’ Shamrocks put 20 goals on the board Sunday and romped to a 20-7 victory over the Delta Islanders. 

The Rocks faced an old teammate as former Intermediate Shamrock goaltender Charles Claxton was between the pipes for Delta.  I’m sure it wasn’t exactly the kind of welcome he was hoping for.  Tanner Hodgson got the start in goal for Victoria.

Ironically it was Delta getting on the scoreboard first and that wasn’t until the 6:57 mark of period 1 when Taylor Northway got the ball behind Hodgson.  The Rocks tied things up at 8:24, Jake Cullen powering to the net.  The flood gates opened after that with a total of 5 goals in a 5-minute span.  The Islanders took the lead once again and for the last time in the contest at 9:27 when Matt Benedict got in close with the teams playing 3-on-3.  Again the home team replied, Matt Hamilton coming in off the ensuing face-off to knot things at 2 apiece at the 9:47 mark.  The Shamrocks took the lead at 11:00 with Cullen notched his second just inside the post.  This time Delta replied to get things even again, Jon Phillips firing from the slot at 13:28.  Things started to fall off the rails for the visitors after that.  In the last minute of the opening period, Jordan Cunningham shorthanded and Chris Kasper at even strength both scored unassisted tallies and that made the score 5-3 for the Shamrocks after 20 minutes.

A power play goal just 32 seconds into period 2 by Cullen – that would be his third of the game – had the Rocks up by 3.  It took just 21 seconds for Delta reply with the first of 2 consecutive goals.  The first came off the stick of Brandon Moroz and the second was courtesy of Phillips, a power play goal, his second of the game, at 3:09.  Again goals came very quickly and at the end of the period the Shamrocks had a 15-6 lead.  That included 2 more from Hamilton and 3 more from Cullen.  One of the nicest was the last of the period, an unassisted tally from Curtis Gailey at 18:49 when he picked up his own rebound, ran around the net, gave a couple of fakes and deposited the ball in the back of the net.  Claxton must have felt he was in a shooting galley as the shots on goal favoured the Shamrocks 40-25 at the end of the second period.

The onslaught continued in the final frame, the home team outscoring the visitors by a 5-1 margin.  Keifer Hagedorn came in to play the final 11:23 in goal for the Shamrocks and allowed 1 goal.

It was an important win for the Shamrocks, making it four in a row, three of those at home as the season nears the halfway point.  Leading the way unofficially for the Shamrocks was Jake Cullen who finished with 7 goals and 5 helpers.  Matt Hamilton had 4 goals and 1 assist while Jordan Cunningham chipped in 8 points on 2 goals and 6 assists.  Curtis Gailey had the hat-trick and 2 assists, Chris Kasper chipped in a pair of goals with singles coming from Ryan Taylor who also had a great game on the penalty kill and Matt Baxter.  Graham Winship added 3 assists and goaltender Tanner Hodgson got in on the offense with 2 helpers.

Jon Phillips and Brandon Moroz each scored twice for Delta while Evan Messenger led the team with 4 assists.

Next up for the Intermediates is a game in Nanaimo Tuesday against the Timbermen.  That game takes place at 7:00 at the Frank Crane Arena.  The next home game is next Saturday, June 2 when the visitors will be the expansion Maple Ridge Burrards.  Game time is 1:30 pm.

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