By Janice Huckin
Victoria (ISN) – It’s been a while since the Jr. Shamrocks have come up with a victory at home and they almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory Saturday when they held on for a slim 9-8 victory over the visiting Delta Islanders.
The Rocks seemed to be sailing along with period leads of 5-1 and 9-4 but got into penalty trouble and got away from doing the things that made them successful allowing 4 goals in the final 20 minutes and scoring exactly none.
The home team scored early, Adam Wallace beating starting Delta goaltender Will Schwan just 46 seconds into the contest. The visitors replied at 4:17, Mike Mallory putting a hard shot behind starting Victoria goalie Cody Hagedorn. After that, the Rocks got on a 7-goal run. A power play marker from Brody Eastwood at 6:35 from the edge of the crease put the home team ahead. Devon Casey followed that up with a hard shot from the dotted line at 8:51. It was 15:45 before the next goal, Dane Schoor picking the corner and at 16:31 Kurtis Green fired a bullet to the back of the net making it 5-1 despite shots on goal being even at 15 each. Green’s goal also precipitated a goaltending change for the visitors as Jeremy Funk came in to relieve Schwan.
The Victoria goal-scoring streak continued into period 2, Schoor picking up his second on the power play at 3:19. Casey picked up his second at 4:08 and Green also collected his second of the game at 4:39, again coming with the man advantage. Out went Funk and back in came Schwan. That switch seemed to motivate the Islanders as they pounded in three straight goals. Eli McLaughlin found twine at 10:04 putting a shot over top with the teams playing 4-on-4. Just 53 seconds later, Tyler Nett added another breaking in and at 16:34 a power play goal off the stick of McLaughlin had the visitors within 4 goals. Josh Fagan put a stop to the Delta streak when he got right in front and made it 9-5 at the 19:35 mark. Again shots on goal were pretty even, the Rocks holding a 14-13 lead in that category.
The third period belonged to Delta when it came to scoring and to Victoria when it came to penalties. The Islanders tallied 4 times, only two of those coming on the power play despite the Shamrocks taking 6 of the 7 penalties called in the period. Hagedorn was outstanding between the pipes in the final frame as he faced 20 shots to just 7 for his counterpart.
Dane Schoor, Devon Casey and Kurtis Green each had a pair of goals for the Shamrocks while Green also added a pair of helpers. Singles came from Brody Eastwood, Adam Wallace and Josh Fagan, all 3 of whom also had 1 assist. Shea Wakefield chipped in 3 assists and Adam Brown added 4 helpers. Cody Hagedorn stopped 40 of 48 shots fired his way.
The Islanders also had 3 players with 2 goals – Mike Mallory, Eli Laughlin and Tyler Nett – with Sam Clare and Jamie Malenfant adding the others.
This was a big win for the Shamrocks, not the least because it closes the gap between these two teams but also moves them into fourth place in the standings, 2 points ahead of both Port Coquitlam and Langley. Those teams do hold a game in hand.
The Shamrocks will hit the road Sunday for a game against the third place New Westminster Salmonbellies and return to Bear Mountain Arena Tuesday at 7:30 pm when they will take on the Nanaimo Timbermen. Victoria won the first game between these two teams in Nanaimo earlier in the year and can clinch the season series with a victory.