Story by Janice Huckin
July 22, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Shamrocks returned to Bear Mountain Sunday to face the Coquitlam Adanacs in game 2 of their best-of-five semi final series. After dropping game 1 by a 13-8 score on the mainland, they were hoping to find their offense in front of the home crowd and tie the series.
Unfortunately, they came away on the losing end of a 13-6 score and are now in a deep hole, down 2-0 in the series.
Starting goaltenders were Cody Hagedorn for the Shamrocks and Davide DiRuscio for the Adanacs. As they did in game 1, the Shamrocks scored first, Chris Wardle scoring on the power play at 7:16, off a rebound right in front. Then Coquitlam got on a roll, rattling off 3 straight goals. At 8:40 it was Challen Rogers putting a bullet into the top corner off a transition break. A power play goal followed at 9:34 from Chase McIntyre and at 10:12 Wesley Berg connected with a delayed penalty about to be called to make it 3-1 Adanacs. Wardle picked up his second as he was being driven to the floor just off the crease at 12:38 to bring the home squad back within a goal. The teams traded goals as Cole Kryworuchka squeezed a shot by Hagedorn just 6 seconds after Wardle’s counter. Jesse King added one more for the Shamrocks with 1.7 seconds left on the clock with the extra attacker on the floor and the goaltender on the bench. That made it 4-3 after 20 minutes and the visitors held a slight edge in shots on goal by a 17-14 margin.
Play started pretty even in the middle frame. Coquitlam re-established the 2-goal lead at 8:50 when Berg picked up his second on the power play, this one unassisted coming from behind the net. Dane Sorensen replied for the Rocks at the 10-minute mark, a short-handed goal that came after some good ball movement on the penalty kill. At 11:44, Vincent Ricci put the visitors ahead by 2 once again only to have Victoria’s captain Brody Eastwood connect at 12:24 – they were back within a goal. The visitors decided to change up their goaltenders and replaced DiRuscio with Peter Dubenski, acquired from the Nanaimo Timbermen at the trade deadline. After that, things took off for Coquitlam and the wheels fell off for the Rocks as the Adanacs rattled off 4 unanswered goals before the period ended. The A’s got goals from Berg, his hat trick marker at 12:47 and at 15:07 big Steven Neufeld simply used his reach to shoot around the Victoria defender. Tyler Garrison tallied at 17:14, just walking around the defense to get in alone and with just 3 ticks left on the clock Berg notched his 4th with a hard shot from the dotted line as his team had the goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker. Now holding a 10-5 lead, the Adanacs also outshot the Shamrocks by a wide margin, 23-13.
Coquitlam continued their scoring streak with the first 3 goals of period 3, the first coming just 6 seconds in. off the opening faceoff from Rogers. McIntyre then picked up his second at 7:44 with a hard shot on the power play. That brought Shamrocks back-up goaltender Derek Anderson into the game. He allowed 1 goal, Reid Reinhold tallying on a low shot at 11:52 also on the power play. Devon Casey finally broke the spell with a hard low shot at 19:22. The Shamrocks outshot the Adanacs 17-8 in the period but most shots seemed to be right at the goaltender.
I don’t know where the scoring has gone – the Shamrocks scored a lot of goals in the regular season and against the Delta Islanders in the quarter finals. Coquitlam is a big, strong team with talent throughout their line-up and they really outworked the Shamrocks on the loose ball battles in this game. Defense of course is a major part of most championship teams and the Rocks have gotten away with their goal-scoring prowess, sometimes to the detriment of looking after the other end of the floor in support of their goaltenders.
It will be a tough comeback for the boys in green. In any event, Chris Wardle was the only Shamrock to score more than once as he scored twice and added an assist. Jesse King came up with a 4-point performance on a goal and 3 assists. Brody Eastwood, Dane Sorensen and Devon Casey scored the other Shamrocks goals with Casey also chipping in 2 helpers. Dane Schoor also had 2 assists.
Game 3 will be played next Saturday, July 27 in Coquitlam – that will be a 3:00 pm start due to the WLA Adanacs having a home game that evening. Should the Shamrocks come up with a win, game 4 would be back at Bear Mountain Arena on Sunday, July 28 at 5:00 pm