Shamrocks Lead League

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Story By Janice Huckin – Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

June 15, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It was a battle of the league leaders Friday night at Bear Mountain Arena as the Maple Ridge Burrards came to town and it was the home Shamrocks coming away with a 14-9 victory to take over sole possession of first place.

The first period had it looking like it would be a tight defensive battle as goaltenders Matt Flindell of the Rocks and Chris Levis of the Burrards both played well. The action was fast and furious but after 20 minutes the teams were deadlocked at 3-3 despite Victoria holding a 22-17 edge in shots on goal. Corey Small got things started for the Shamrocks at 4:26, finding the top corner behind Levis but it took just 12 seconds before the league’s leading scorer, Curtis Dickson knotted things for the Burrards. They then grabbed the lead at 5:45 when Riley Loewen put a shot over top of Flindell.

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5025 Shamrocks Karsen Leung steals the ball from Burrards David Joyce – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Mitch Jones found twine for the home team at 7:05 as he got a shot away while being taken to the ground. The lead swung back to the Rocks on a Tyler Hass goal at 13:21 getting in close on a breakaway. Andrew Murphy tied things up for the visitors as they worked the ball from side to side and squeezed one by Flindell at 18:51. Only 3 penalties were called in the period.

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Burrards Curtis Dickson and Shamrocks Tyler Burton battle for the ball – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

The second period saw more goals scored and the lead change hands as the visitors scored the first two goals to open up a 5-3 lead. Those goals came courtesy of Aaron Pascas just 7 seconds into the frame off the opening faceoff and a second from Dickson on the power play at 6:34, getting a shot just inside the post. The Shamrocks bounced back with a 3-goal run to take the lead away. At 7:44 Small notched a power play goal on a quick stick right in front.

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Shamrocks Corey Small gets 7 goals during this matchup – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Jeff Shattler got the tying goal at 9:46 with a high hard shot from the dotted line and Small completed the hat trick at 10:20 to give the home team the lead once again. Maple Ridge managed to tie things up at the 11-minute mark but Victoria scored the next 3 and never trailed after that. Goals came from Jones, his second, at 16:42, Small at 17:39 and 18:00 to make it 9-6. A Burrards power play goal at 19:55 from Loewen, his second of the game rounded out the scoring. That left Victoria holding a 9-7 lead after 40 minutes in another tame period with respect to infractions. The Rocks outshot the visitors 24-13, giving them a 46-30 lead in that category after two periods.

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Shamrocks Scott Carnegie chases Burrards Riley Loewen who has the ball – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

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Burrards Colton Porter tries to stop Shamrocks Corey Small from firing on net – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

The third period was totally different and ended in fireworks on the floor. Dan MacRae gave Victoria a 3-goal lead with an unassisted goal at 1:40 but Maple Ridge replied with a pair from David Joyce at 2:25 and Dickson at 5:31 to close the gap to a single tally. The Rocks exploded for the final 4 goals of the contest as Shattler scored at 5:56, Small picked up a couple more at 9:52 and unassisted at 12:05, that a highlight reel goal as he dipped and dived in front of the net before finding the back of the net. Jones picked up the final counter of the game at 12:31, putting the ball over top of the fallen Levis. After that, tempers got the better of things, with Victoria being tagged with a couple of majors, a minor and 2 misconducts and the Burrards taking 38 minutes in penalties, all in the final minute of the period.

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Shamrocks Ben McCullough needs to get through the Burrards keeping the ball in his stick – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

The Shamrocks outshot the Burrards 69-42 in the game and it was Corey Small leading the way offensively with 7 goals and 3 assists to be named the game’s first star. Mitch Jones, the third star of the match had an outstanding game with 3 goals and 4 assists while Jeff Shattler had a pair of goals and 2 helpers. Scott Ranger picked up 4 assists, the team’s leading scorer Cory Conway had 5 helpers and single goals came from Dan MacRae and Tyler Hass. Matt Flindell had a strong game with 33 saves.

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Burrards Clay Miller tries to keep Shamrocks Kory Kowalyk from being able to catch the ball – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

For the Burrards it was the league’s leading scorer Curtis Dickson coming up with 4 goals and 2 assists to earn second star honours. Jarrett Davis picked up 5 helpers in a losing effort.

The result has the Shamrocks 2 points ahead of the Burrards and, as importantly, ties the season series between the teams with 1 head-to-head battle coming up on the mainland on June 23. Next action for the Rocks is a home game next Friday, June 21 against the Coquitlam Adanacs.

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