Victoria (ISN) – After defeating the Burnaby Lakers 11-9 Friday, the Victoria Shamrocks dropped a 9-6 decision to the Langley Thunder Saturday to come away with a split on their Western Lacrosse Association road trip this past weekend.
On Friday, things started off well for the Shamrocks as Corey Small opened the scoring just 42 seconds into the game beating Lakers’ starting goaltender, Dan Lewis, through the legs with a shot for his 13th goal of the season.
Burnaby scored back-to-back power play goals as Casey Jackson and Scott Tinning scored just 1:14 apart to take the lead. The lead, however, would not last long as Matt Yager would tie the game at two with a shorthanded goal for his 4th goal of the year.
Burnaby would score the next three goals as Carlton Schuss would score twice and Dane Stevens would add another to see the Lakers up 5-2. However, Victoria would end the period with two goals from Karsen Leung – his first career goal – and Ryan Benesch to cut the lead to one after twenty minutes.
Most of the second period would not go the Shamrocks way; the ‘Rocks would get into penalty trouble and Burnaby would capitalize scoring one power play goal, but lighting the lamp four consecutive times. Jackson Decker, Colton Clark, Carlton Schuss who completed the hat trick, and Peter McFetridge all scored in a ten minute span to push the Lakers up 9-4.
The Shamrocks would finally score again with just 1:36 remaining in the middle stanza as Ryan Benesch scored his second of the game to make it 9-5 and kick-started a huge comeback. Victoria would score again as Small notched his second of the night with just 5.6 second left in the period to make it a 9-6 Burnaby lead after two periods.
Victoria would dominate the third period from start to finish outshooting the Lakers 22-8 in the period while outscoring them 5-0. Mike Pires scored the first of five with an extra attacker to make it 9-7 at the 2:10 mark of the third. Jeff Shattler and Mitch McLaren would score 43 seconds apart to tie the game at 9-9.
Victoria would then take their first lead since the beginning of the game as Ryan Benesch completed the hat trick and scored the eventual game winning goal at the 16:06 mark as a long shot made its way through Lewis to make it 10-9 ‘Rocks. Shattler would add an empty net goal to seal the deal as the Shamrocks go on to the 11-9 win.
In Saturday’s action against the Thunder, things would start out fantastically for the Shamrocks. Just 22 seconds into the game, Mitch McLaren would pick up a loose ball at centre and run in on a breakaway and beat Thunder starting goaltender, Brodie MacDonald, to open the scoring and take the lead 1-0 early. Moments later, Ryan Benesch would strike with his 20th goal of the year to make it 2-0 Victoria – Derek Lowe picked up an assist on the goal for his first point as a Shamrock.
Langley would get on the board at the 6:23 mark as Athan Ianucci would put one over top of Matt Flindell to cut the lead in half. After trading power play opportunities and not capitalizing, the Thunder would tie the game at the 13:11 mark as Kerry Shusheski would score to make the score 2-2 and that would be the score after 20 minutes despite scoring opportunities at both ends. Langley outshot Victoria 14-10 in the period.
Just 1:50 into the second period, Langley would take their first lead of the game as Garrett Billings would make a beautiful pass across to Shayne Jackson who made no mistake making it 3-2 Langley. Moments later, Ryan McMichael would take a five-minute major for boarding penalty and Victoria would capitalize.
Derek Lowe, who registered his first point as a ‘Rock in the first period, would strike for his first goal as a ‘Rock to tie the game at three from a shot at the top of the crease. Kory Kowalyk would regain the lead for Victoria after receiving a pass from Corey Small then making a quick-stick move before beating the netminder to make it 4-3 ‘Rocks. With just 58.4 seconds remaining in the period, on a Dan MacRae holding penalty, the Thunder would strike with the power play as Garrett Billings would beat Flindell high to the stick side to tie the game 4-4. The game would remain tied, 4-4, after 40 minutes of play.
Langley would take another lead early in the third as Ianucci once again beat Flindell in similar fashion to make it 5-4 Thunder just 3:16 into the period. Victoria however, would tie the game once again, as Corey Small would get a beautiful pass from Benesch and buried his 16th of the season, but the tie game would not last long as Ryan McMichael would score just twenty seconds after the Small tally to make it 6-5 Langley.
Derek Lowe would draw the ‘Rocks even again at 6-6 with his second of the night and second as a ‘Rock squeezing one through the goaltender MacDonald and just crossing the line. Langley would again draw ahead as Ian Poole hit Susheski on a stretch pass and he beat Flindell on the breakaway for his second of the night to put the Thunder up 7-6. The Thunder would make it a two-goal lead with just 1:59 remaining in the game as Jackson beat Flindell for his second of the night making it an 8-6 Thunder lead. They would then make it 9-6 as Alex Turner would score to put the game out of reach for the ‘Rocks.