By Janice Huckin
May 23, 2013, New Westminster, BC (ISN) – The Shamrocks made the trip across the Strait to face the New Westminster Salmonbellies Thursday and they came away with a 10-7 win in a game that had lots of action and lots of excitement.
Starting goaltenders were Matt Flindell for Victoria and Neil Tyacke for the Bellies and the first period was end to end action but lacking in goals. In fact the Shamrocks got the only 2 goals of the frame and both came on the power play as Jeff Shattler, recently arrived in town tallied with a 5-on-3 power play at 10:45 releasing one Salmonbellies player from the box. But before the other penalty expired, Scott Ranger made it 2-0 at 11:09. The Rocks held the advantage in shots on goal by a 23-16 margin.
The second period was just as fast but goals came in bunches as momentum swung first in favour of the home team who scored three straight to take a 3-2 lead by the 4:16 mark. The Shamrocks got on a 3-goal run of their own, Shattler picking up two of those with Corey Small getting the other with an extra attacker on the floor and a delayed penalty about to be called. The Rocks ran into some penalty trouble as they were called for 4 straight minor penalties, all overlapping, resulting in a fairly long 5-on-3 advantage for New West. They did manage one power play goal during that period but the Shamrocks came back with two before the end of the frame, to give them a 7-4 lead after 40 minutes. The Salmonbellies had outshot the visitors but they were tied with 37 each.
The Shamrocks extended their lead by 3 before the third period was half over, goals coming from Small, Mitch Jones and Small again but the Bellies battled back for 3 late goals as they pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker. Unfortunately, it was not enough for New Westminster as they fell to defeat in their home opener.
Jeff Shattler made an impression with 4 goals and 2 assists, Scott Ranger picked up 2 goals and 5 helpers while Corey Small had 3 goals and 2 assists as these three players combined for 37 of the 54 shots. Mitch Jones had the other Victoria goal while Cory Conway picked up 3 assists. Matt Flindell had a very strong outing in goal, stopping 44 shots.
Victoria and Langley are now tied atop the league standings both with 2-0 records and the Shamrocks can improve on that when they face the Burnaby Lakers Friday at Bear Mountain Arena.