by Janice Huckin
Victoria (ISN) – The Shamrocks got a solid 60-minute from the whole team Saturday on their way to a 12-4 victory over the visiting Burnaby Lakers.
With the Rocks looking to climb out of the final playoff spot, they sent Cody Hagedorn to guard their crease while Burnaby started Xander McDonald at their end of the floor. Victoria’s Adam Brown scored on the first shot of the game just 49 seconds into the opening period, successfully burying a bouncer from the dotted line. Burnaby came back to tie the score at 2:36 when James Baker scored on what looked like an innocuous shot from well out. Blair Pinnock, getting back into the line-up after a few games on the bench, restored the Shamrocks’ lead at 9:37. At 10:36, Victoria’s Devon Casey was knocked to the floor by a high-stick in the hands of Burnaby’s Matthew Simpson who was assessed a 5-minute high-sticking penalty for his trouble. Josh Fagan came to his teammate’s defense and ended up with a minor and a major, along with a second major for Simpson who was also handed a game misconduct. Casey came back a couple of minutes later, scoring on a bullet from the dotted line at 11:56. Brody Eastwood opened up a 3-goal Victoria lead with an unassisted power play goal at 15:02, picking up a rebound and putting it over McDonald. Before the period ended, big Kurtis Green forced his way to the front of the crease and buried one at 18:34 to give the Rocks a 5-1 lead after 20 minutes. The home team also had a big edge in shots on goal by a 20-11 mrgin.
The second period saw less scoring but more penalties. The Shamrocks scored the first 3 goals of the period with Burnaby getting a goal late as the Rocks pulled ahead. Just 1:16 into the period, following a successful Victoria penalty kill, Chris Wardle got to the front of the net to beat McDonald. At 4:58 Eastwood picked up his second of the game, on a 5-on-3 power play, finishing off some quick passes and at 6:36 Adam Brown collected his second, also on the power play, firing a hard shot from well out to the back of the net. Burnaby’s Jaeden Gastaldo scored the final goal of the period, connecting at 13:11 on a breakaway. That made it 8-2 after the second, with the shots on goal being much more even with the Lakers holding a 15-14 lead.
Fagan hit the scoreboard just 21 seconds into the final frame, getting in close to widen the Victoria lead. Burnaby replied with 2 goals just 57 seconds apart as Connor Buick scored at 1:54 and Colton Dow found twine at 2:51. The Rocks scored 3 unanswered to finish the game’s scoring. Fagan picked up his second at 5:51, followed by Brown and Eastwood, each picking up their hat-trick markers at 11:14 and 19:16 respectively.
It was one of the few games in recent memory where there has not been a lapse in intensity from the boys in green, something the coaching staff is no doubt hoping to see every time out as playoffs approach. Devon Casey led all scorers with an 8-point night on a goal and 7 assists. Adam Brown and Brody Eastwood each added a hat trick and 2 helpers. Blair Pinnock and Chris Wardle chipped in a goal and 3 assists each, Wardle again also doing a good job on Victoria’s penalty kill. Josh Fagan contributed a pair of goals with Kurtis Green scoring the other Shamrocks goal. Cody Hagedorn went the distance in goal, kicking out 35 of the 39 shots he faced, a bit of an easier night in goal than is often the case.
Four different players scored for the Lakers while Xander McDonald faced 56 shots in goal, making 44 saves.
On Sunday the Jr. Shamrocks played on the road and came away with a 10 to 4 win against the Port Coquitlam Saints.
Leading the way for the Rocks was Brody Eastwood with 3 goals and 2 assists. Scoring doubles were Dane Schoor and Paul Brebber. Singles went to Jamie Sorensen, Glenn Foley and Chris Wardle.
Cody Hagedorn stopped 29 shots and contributed 3 assists giving him an impressive 20 on the year.
The Shamrocks finish the season with game on the road as they face Port Coquitlam again next Sunday, and travel to Coquitlam to take on the Adanacs. They definitely have playoffs in their future with a tentative date of either July 14 or 15, but starting at Panorama Recreation Center as Bear Mountain is otherwise encumbered that weekend. Check back here for updates as they become available.