Maple Ridge BC (ISN) – Just forty-eight hours after defeating their rival, the Nanaimo Timbermen at home in a barn burner Friday night, the Victoria Shamrocks were right back at it in Maple Ridge to take on the Burrards in their second meeting of the season on Sunday.
The ‘Rocks defeated the Burrards in their home opener on May 25th – an 8-4 win in front of a packed Bear Mountain Arena – and Victoria continued their strong start, defeating the Burrards once again by a 17-7 score to move to 4-0 on the season.
Josh Phillips got the nod in goal for the ‘Rocks for his first WLA start after Matt Flindell started the first three games of the year, putting in a solid performance and Jeff Shattler was welcomed back into the line up for the Shamrocks after missing Friday’s game against Nanaimo. However, the Shamrocks were still without Captain Matt Lyons, as he sat out his second consecutive game.
The first period would start with furious action at both ends, but the Shamrocks would get on the board first just 33 seconds into the contest courtesy of an unassisted snipe by Jeff Shattler as he beat Chris Seidel to make it 1-0. The first penalty of the game would go to the Burrards as Derek Lowe tripped up Shattler, but the ‘Rocks would fail to capitalize on the power play. Minutes later, however, they would score on the man advantage as Kory Kowalyk ripped one by the keeper to make it 2-0. At the 10:43 mark the Burrards would cut the lead in half making it 2-1 while also receiving a power play; however, they would not score with the extra man. With 3:09 remaining in the period, Jeff Shattler struck again to make it 3-1 Victoria. Just under two minutes later, Ryan Benesch would make it 4-1 Shamrocks with a power play goal quickly followed by a Reed MacPhail breakaway goal making it 5-1 to end the first frame. The Shamrocks outshot the Burrards 18-9 in the first period.
Physicality took over in the early part of the second period with both teams playing strong defensively. The rough stuff would continue as Spencer Taugher and Daniel Amesbury ended up in a spirited tilt just five minutes into the period. Taugher would pick up an extra two resulting in a Burrards power play, but Jeff Shattler would score shorthanded to complete the hat trick, chasing starting net minder Seidel from the game, replaced by Drew Dickie. The Burrards would get back on the board making it 6-2 at the 7:07 mark as Aaron Davis beat Phillips with a shot to the stick side, but it would be answered right back by none other than Jeff Shattler as he beat Dickie with a side arm shot to make it 7-2. The ‘Rocks would make it 8-2 when Shattler would beat Dickie for his 5th goal of the night at the 9:54 mark. Soon after, Rhys Jones would take a five minute major for high sticking resulting in an extended power play for the Burrards and Maple Ridge would score their first of the power play just 11 seconds in making it 8-3 as Aaron Pascas beat Phillips. The spectacular night by Jeff Shattler would continue as he would score the goal of the night on a beauty deke before sliding the ball through the legs of the goalie all while shorthanded for his 6th goal of the night – Small and Benesch picked up the helpers. Victoria would score another shorthanded goal as Brock Armour ran up court and beat Dickie making it 10-3. Victoria would add to their lead as Mike Pires scored on a pass from Shattler to make it 11-3 – Kory Kowalyk would add the other helper; and with just two seconds remaining in the period, the ‘Rocks made it 12-3 as Corey Small added a power play tally to make it 12-3 after 40 minutes.
The route continued in the third, just eight seconds in, Chet Koneczny would light the lamp, assisted by Brock Armour to make it 13-3. Twenty-two seconds into the period, a heavyweight fight transpired between Justin Veuger and Daniel Amesbury. Back-to-back Burrards goals by Aaron Pascas and Derek Lowe would make it 13-5 Victoria. Mike Pires would bury his second of the night on the power play from Corey Small and Kory Kowalyk to make it 14-5 before another power play goal by Ryan Benesch from Small and Pires to make it 15-5. Greg Harnett picked up a five minute major for cross checking, resulting in a power play goal by the Burrards’ Pascas for his hat trick goal to make it a 15-6 game. Victoria would add another as Kyle Morwick scored from Ryan Benesch and Brock Armour to make it 16-6 before Victoria’s Rhys Jones took a five minute major for roughing, resulting in a Burrards marker as Aaron Davis scored to make it 16-7. Mitch McLaren would score his first goal as a member of the Victoria Shamrocks to make it 17-7 at the final buzzer.
Josh Phillips in his first WLA start also picked up his first WLA win. With the victory, the Shamrocks capitalized on a strong weekend of games to remain undefeated at 4-0 on the season, tops in the WLA standings. Their next test will come Wednesday night at Bear Mountain Arena when they play host to the Coquitlam Adanacs in what will be their toughest opponent of the season so far. Wednesday night’s game will also mark “Westhills Family Night” at Bear Mountain Arena where the club will be offering $20 family passes; also, fans will have a chance to win free bowling. Doors open at 6:30, with game time at 7:45.