Junior Shamrocks Swept in Playoffs By New Westminster

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victoria shamrocks_JUNIOR

By Janice Huckin

Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Junior Shamrocks season is over after they were swept on the weekend two games to none in their best of three opening round playoff series with the New Westminster Salmonbellies.

The Jr. Shamrocks lost a close game 1 in their best-of-three series Saturday and came into game 2 in the unfamiliar Panorama Recreation Center really feeling like they had a chance to even the series and send it back to New West for a game 3.  The Rocks actually had a 3-2 lead at 11:09 of period 1 but a rash of penalties and 7 unanswered power play goals pretty much knocked the stuffing out of them as the New Westminster Salmonbellies wrapped up the 2-game sweep with a 13-6 victory.

Starting goaltenders were Frankie Scigliano for the visitors and Cody Hagedorn for the home team.  The Bellies got on the board first, Alex Lohr scoring on a run down the floor at 4:33.  Reagan Harding gave New West the 2-0 lead at 7:10 on a hard low shot to the back of the net.  At 8:27 Kurtis Green got the Rocks started with a bouncer in close.  Just 37 seconds later it was Jordan Cunningham knotting the score at 2 with a hard shot right along the ground.  At 11:09 Glenn Foley gave the Shamrocks the only lead they would hold, burying a bullet from behind the dotted line, that goal coming with the man advantage.  The Bellies closed out the first period scoring with 3 power play goals, Keegan Bal connecting at 12:34, Josh Byrne at 14:45 and Harding with his second at 19:19.  That gave the visitors a 5-3 lead after 20 minutes and a lead in shots on goal by a 19-14 margin.

Penalties continued to take their toll on the home team in the middle frame, as they have throughout the season.  It can safely be said that the men in black clearly did not help them with calls and non-calls all over the board.  The result was that the Salmonbellies outscored the Shamrocks 4-0, all goals coming with the extra man.  Harding got his hat-trick goal at 2:17 off a rebound, Byrne collected his second at 6:32 with a 5-on-3 man advantage and then his hat trick marker at 14:26.  Kyle Dobbie rounded out the scoring at 14:59 and that made it 9-3 New West after 40 minutes while they had increased their lead in shots on goal to a 37-26 margin.

The Shamrocks got one back early in period 3, Brody Eastwood getting a low shot behind Scigliano.  If fans were hoping for a rally, their hopes were dashed as the Salmonbellies rattled off 3 more in a 3:21 span.  First it was Reid Mydske finding twine after picking off a Victoria pass at 2:14.  Chase McIntyre picked up the next two markers, the first at 2:33 as he walked right in and the second at 5:35, picking a corner.  Hagedorn made way for back-up goaltender Keenan Lambright at that point and Victoria did respond with a pair but it was too little too late.  At 9:42 Dane Schoor broke unmolested to the front of the net and scored.  At 11:53 it was big Braden Kmita picking up a loose ball and burying it.  New West’s Harding picked up his fourth of the contest at the 13:18 mark and from there it was just pretty much a penalty parade as play deteriorated and officials were not in control.

It’s a very disappointing end to a season in which the Shamrocks were expected to make a serious run at a Minto Cup.  It’s probably especially so for those players who have now completed their Jr. ‘A’ careers as the Shamrocks will see 11 players graduate from the Jr. ranks, including 3 players acquired late in the season via trade.

No Victoria player was able to solve Scigliano more than once but Glenn Foley and Braden Kmita each picked up a goal and an assist.  Other goals came from Dane Schoor, Brody Eastwood, Kurtis Green and Jordan Cunningham.  Adam Brown and Devon Casey each picked up a couple of assists.

The Salmonbellies will go on to face the Delta Islanders in one league semi final while the Langley Thunder, having taken a 2-game sweep against the Port Coquitlam Saints in the other quarter final series, will take on league-leading Coquitlam in the other.

If you haven’t had your fill of lacrosse yet the Intermediate ‘A’ Shamrocks will be entering playoffs likely next weekend – check out details at www.intermediateshamrocks.com

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