Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN
Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks won their fifth straight game to stay undefeated on the young season, as they defeated the Coquitlam Adanacs 10-6 Wednesday evening at Bear Mountain Arena.
The Shamrocks, who are ranked second in the National Lacrosse Rankings, came out and played like a nationally ranked team in the first period, dominating the Adanacs early and jumping out to a 4-0 lead on the strength of 3 goals from Corey Small and one from Ryan Benesch.
The Shamrock’s Kory Kowalyk, who scored a couple of assists on the night , makes a move on Coquitlam’s Travis Irving in first period action (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Adanacs, who were late in getting to the arena for the game, struggled early, but started to find their game later in the period and put one by Victoria goaltender Matt Flindell at the 18:14 mark to get on the board and escape the period down 4-1.
Victoria’s Dan McRae avoids the forecheck of Coquitlam’s Trevor Evans in the first period Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
The Shamrocks continued their solid play in the second, and used two goals from Benesch – his second and third of the game and the latter shorthanded – to put the ‘Rocks into a commanding 6-1 lead.
Ryan Benesch drives past Coquitlam’s Ross Halliday en route to scoring the Shamrock’s 6th goal Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
That 6th goal prompted the Adanacs to switch goalies, temporarily removing starter Nick Rose in favour of Adam Shute. The move, which provided a brief warm-up period for the new goalie, gave the Adanacs some time to settle down and adjust their game, and shortly thereafter they responded with a pair of goals by Leif Mydske and Damon Edwards, the latter on the powerplay, to cut the lead to 6-3.
Corey Small, here looking to move past Coquitlam’s Damon Edwards, had another strong game for the ‘Rocks, with 3 goals and 2 assists Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
Before the period was out however, CFAX Player of the Week Jeff Shattler would notch his first of the game on the powerplay and the Shamrocks headed to the break up 7-3.
Coquitlam came out quickly in the third and got a goal from Jason Jones 1:29 in to cut the lead again to 7-4, prompting a bit of the buzz in the crowd as to whether the momentum had swung toward the Adanacs.
Victoria’s Jeff Shattler would score twice and add two assists to his team’s winning effort on Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
However the Shamrock’s put a quick end to that speculation as Kyle Morwick and Shattler, with his second on the powerplay, scored less than two minutes apart to widen the lead to 9-4.
The teams would exchange goals with Coquitlam’s Steve McKinlay scoring at 11:56 and the ‘Rocks Benesch, with his fourth of the game, scoring at 13:25 to make the score 10-5.
Victoria’s Ryan Benesch would finish with 4 goals and 4 assists to earn the first star Wednesday (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
Just after that goal, things got a little chippy and the Adanacs Travis Irving and the ‘Rocks Tory Gardner engaged in the first and only fight of the evening.
Gardner clearly got the upper hand in the fight, landing a solid blow to the chin of Irving and sending him to the dressing room. Shortly thereafter an announcement was made requesting the Shamrocks doctor to go to the Adanacs dressing room. No update on Irving’s condition was available at press time.
Coquitlam’s Travis Irving takes one on the chin and neck from Victoria’s Tory Gardner during their 3rd period fight (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN).
At the 17:10 mark, things turned nasty again as Victoria’s Greg Harnett was issued a high sticking major and a match penalty and teammates James Cadwallader and Chet Koneczny were sent off for roughing, with Koneczny’s penalty assessed as a major.
The net result was an Adanacs powerplay on which Mydske would score his second of the game and making the score 10-6.
That would be all the Adanacs would get however as Victoria goaltender Matt Flindell had another strong game, stopping 43 of the 49 shots he saw for the win, earning third star status for his efforts.
Victoria goaltender Matt Flindell stopped 43 of 49 shots to stay undefeated thus far this season (Photo by Christian J. Stewart – ISN)
On the stat sheet, Benesch would add four assists to his goal total, ending up with eight points on the night and earning the game’s first star. Corey Small added a pair of assists to go with his two goals, while Jeff Shattler added 2 goals and 2 assists to earn second star status. Mike Pires would also contribute four assists on the evening.
Next up for the Shamrocks are the second place New Westminster Salmonbellies who host Victoria on Thursday June 14th at 7:45 pm. The ‘Rocks then return home on Friday June 15th to host the Burnaby Lakers.