Coquitlam, BC (ISN) – A last second Jeff Shattler shot rang off the crossbar, effectively sounding the death knell for the Victoria Shamrocks, as they went down to defeat 8-7 to the Coquitlam Adanacs Wednesday evening, eliminating them from the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs.
Just twenty-four hours after dropping a one-goal decision in overtime in Game 5 to the Coquitlam Adanacs at Bear Mountain Arena Tuesday night, the Victoria Shamrocks travelled to Coquitlam to try and avoid elimination in Game 6 Wednesday at the Coquitlam Sports Centre.
With the Shamrocks trailing in the series 3-2, it was a must win for the green and white, who would force a seventh and deciding game on Sunday back at home to decide the series. It was a see-saw battle that saw both sides control the tempo at different times in a very even contest, but it would be the Adanacs who came out on top.
The first period started just the way the Shamrocks had hoped. With a high level of intensity and desperation in their game to go along with a fast tempo from both sides, it was the ‘Rocks who jumped out to the early lead. Just 3:19 into the contest, Corey Small cut out from the corner and let a low shot go that beat Adanacs all-star goaltender Nick Rose low on the stick side to open the scoring and give the ‘Rocks the early 1-0 lead. The ‘Rocks continued to come, while on the man advantage, Corey Small did it again; this time cutting in front of the net faking a cross crease shot before bringing his stick back and beating Rose high glove side to give Victoria a 2-0 advantage. Chris Levis, who had his struggles in the series at times, had played stellar in the early going stopping all eight shots he faced early on, but at the 10:01 mark, Daryl Veltman got the A’s on the board as he beat Levis high glove side to make it 2-1. Just 2:02 later, Shamrocks nemesis Dane Dobbie tied the game on a shot that Chris Levis would probably like to have back, as Dobbie let an innocent shot go that beat the ‘Rocks netminder between the legs to make it a 2-2 game, and that was how the first period ended with the shots also tied 16-16.
The tempo kept up in the second period as both teams wanted it as bad as the other, but at the 3:52 mark, it was once again Dane Dobbie who scored to help the A’s forge ahead 3-2 for their first lead of the night. The A’s continued to press, and just 29 seconds after the Dobbie goal, Ryan Johnson scored a power play marker with a shot from the top of the ark that beat Levis high stick side to make it 4-2 A’s. Coquitlam would build to their lead, as Daryl Veltman scored his second of three in the game with a shot low short-side on Levis to make the score 5-2 Adanacs – the A’s scored three goals in 3:08. The Shamrocks, however, scored the next three goals. Corey Small completed his hat trick with a shot low side on Rose while shorthanded to make it 5-3 A’s. Small would score his fourth of the night at the 16:44 mark, this time on the power play, as he beat Rose with a high shot after a cycle on the power play, cutting the A’s lead to just one, 5-4. The ‘Rocks continued to press and then with 41 seconds left in the period, the goal of the night was scored by Derek Lowe who picked up a juicy rebound and deposited the ball past Rose with an over the shoulder shot to tie the game 5-5 after two periods.
The third period began with the very same level of energy. At the 3:03 mark, Nick Rose came out to gather a loose ball but was beaten to it by a speedy Reed MacPhail who after a battle for the ball, shot the ball past a defender into the empty net that was vacated by the netminder to give the ‘Rocks a 6-5 lead and a burst of energy to the bench. However, the momentum did not last long, as just 28 seconds after the Rose blunder; Kevin Olson tied the game with a shot over the shoulder on the stick side of Levis to make it 6-6. At 5:47, the A’s once again forged ahead as Jason Jones picked up a rebound and put it high past Levis who was slow to move across the crease and the A’s led 7-6. Jeff Shattler, who was all over the place with four assists to that point, tied the game at 7-7 with a quick stick shot past Rose stick side. After a parade to the penalty box, and the ‘Rocks killing a handful of penalties, Daryl Veltman completed his hat trick at the 17:16 point of the third period with a sharp angle shot passed an unsuspecting Levis to give the A’s the 8-7. The Shamrocks would try and battle to tie the game, even pulling out all the stops calling for a measurement of Nick Roses stick that resulted in a penalty to the A’s keeper with just 21 seconds left and after being turned back that ‘Rocks quickly moved the ball up floor with six seconds remaining in the game and Jeff Shattler, the guy you want with the ball, let a shot fly that rang off the crossbar with just one second left in the game and the Adanacs held on to the 8-7 victory.
The win for the Adanacs eliminate the Shamrocks from the post-season and they advance to the WLA Finals to face the defending Champion Langley Thunder.