Coquitlam, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks emerged with an 11-8 overtime victory over the Coquitlam Adanacs Sunday night to even their Western Lacrosse Association playoff series at 2 games each.
After defeating the Coquitlam Adanacs 9-6 in game three to make the series a 2-1 lead for the A’s, the Victoria Shamrocks traveled to the mainland in hopes of evening the series at two games apiece with a victory in game four of the best-of-seven semi final series at the Coquitlam Sports Centre.
The Shamrocks, who had their goaltender Matt Flindell leave the game after being steamrolled by Jason Jones late in the third period in game three, did not have their starting goaltender even dressed in game four. Chris Levis got the nod in goal, with Josh Phillips a back up. The Shamrocks would however get a boost offensively as Derek Lowe returned to the line-up after missing Friday’s game three.
Victoria would start off on the right foot as at the 6:08 mark Karsen Leung opened the scoring with his second of the playoffs as he cut through the middle and let a shot go by the Adanacs goaltender Nick Rose to make the score 1-0 green and white. Jason Jones – who injured Matt Flindell – tied the game at 1-1 at the 10:32 mark. The ‘Rocks once again forged ahead with Corey Small diving across the crease and putting one by Rose to restore the lead, 2-1 Victoria. However, in similar fashion to the Small goal, Dane Dobbie dove across the crease and beat Levis to once again tie the game, 2-2. That would be how the first period would finish with a tie game through 20 minutes of play.
The Shamrocks would start out great in the second period as well, Corey Small stepped around the defender and bounced one past Nick Rose for his second of the night to give the ‘Rocks their third lead of the game making the score 3-2. The Adanacs would once again tie the game up as Jason Jones beat Levis for his second of the night to level the score at 3-3 just 31 seconds later, on a Ben McCullough penalty, the A’s would take their first lead of the night as Kevin Olson ripped it by Levis who was slow to respond on the cross crease pass making it 4-3 Coquitlam. They would add to their lead as Daryl Veltman would fire a laser of a side arm shot high to the left side of Chris Levis while once again on the power play to make it 5-3 A’s – three goals in 1:21 for the Adanacs. The A’s would build their lead making it a three-goal lead as Damon Edwards got by a defender before slipping one five-hole on Levis to make it 6-3. With time ticking down in the period, Victoria would cut the lead to two as Corey Small ran up court on the power play and let an absolute laser go from the top of the ark that beat Rose high stick side making it 6-4 with his hat trick goal, and that would be the score after 40 minutes of play.
With a power play off the top of the third period, ‘Rocks Captain Matt Lyons let a blistering shot go from the top of the ark that beat Rose just past the hip to cut the A’s lead to a single goal, 6-5 Coquitlam – Lyons first goal of the playoffs. Karsen Leung would tie the game, with his second goal of the game, at the 6:31 he would step to the middle and put one right by Rose on the stick side to make the score 6-6. However, the tie game did not last long as the A’s scored two goals in quick succession – first it was Ryan Johnson who lifted one over the shoulder of Levis followed by a power play goal from Dane Dobbie placing one five-hole to give the A’s an 8-6 lead. Ryan Benesch cut the lead to one just 28 seconds later as he let a low shot go that bounced by Rose to make it 8-7. After the Benesch goal, the Shamrocks continued to pressure offensively with multiple scoring chances including a couple of goal posts. The ‘Rocks would continue to press and with the extra attacker in the dying seconds of the game, Derek Lowe would score the biggest goal of the Shamrock season as with just 1.9 seconds remaining in the game, he beat Rose with a high shot to tie the game up at 8-8 to force overtime.
The Shamrocks in overtime during the regular season were 1-3 in the extra frame. The overtime in this game started off on the right foot for the Shamrocks as Corey Small would bounce his fourth goal of the night past Rose to give the ‘Rocks a 9-8 lead in the first ten-minute overtime period. Small would add his 5th of the night on a play where he took a hit to make the play as Bruce Murray stepped into Small in a big way, but Small got the shot off and it found its way past Rose for the two goal lead in overtime with just over four minutes remaining in the OT period. Victoria would seal the deal as Mitch McLaren would run up floor with the empty net and pot it into the open cage to make it 11-8 Victoria, and that would be the final.
The victory for Victoria evens the series at two games apiece and makes it a best-of-three going forward. Game five will come Tuesday night at Bear Mountain Arena at 7:45pm before the second of a back-to-back with game six on Wednesday night back in Coquitlam.