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Written by Janice Huckin – Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

July 27, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – It was a hot night at Bear Mountain Arena Friday night as two long-time island rivals hooked up with the Shamrocks hosting the Nanaimo Timbermen. After the first period, it looked as if the home team might run away with the win as they held a 6-2 lead.

The T’Men battled back in the middle 20 minutes and were down by a pair of goals 8-6 before the Rocks ran off 5 consecutive goals to begin the final frame and took away a 14-8 win in front of a rocking packed house.

bIMG 1960smallTimbermen’s Bobby Debrone tries to stop Shamrocks Karsen Leung from throwing the ball to a teammate Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Matt Vinc got the start in goal for Victoria with Zach Boychuk his counterpart at the other end. Unlike the last couple of games, the Shamrocks got off to the quick start, scoring 4 goals before Nanaimo found the back of the net. Former Timberman Scott Ranger scored the first 2 goals against his old teammates and Corey Small and Sr. B call-up Blair Pinnock got things started for the boys in green. Nanaimo picked up a pair but Victoria’s Cory Conway and Derek Lowe each scored power play goals before the period ended, giving the home team a 6-2 lead. There were a fair number of penalties in the opening twenty, including a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct to Victoria captain Ranger. Clearly there seems to be some bad blood here.

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Players fall on top of each other during a play Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

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A fight nearly breaks out between Nanaimo’s Jake Emms and Victoria’s Tyler Hass Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

The Rocks also scored first in period 2 but were outscored 4-2 overall in the period. Lowe scored both Victoria goals to give him the hat trick through 40 minutes. Nanaimo’s 4 goals all came from Victoria products as Jake Emms, Cody Bremner, Cayle Ratcliff and Kyle Hofer tallied, both Emms and Ratcliff former Jr. Shamrocks captains.

Penalties were down slightly and shots on goal after two periods were 30-29 in Nanaimo’s favour.

Victoria just ran away with the game in the final frame, scoring the first 5 goals. Ranger notched a pair of power play markers at 2:04 and 4:28, then added his fifth of the game at 5:27. Conway powered a shot by Boychuk at 9:11 and that was the end of Boychuk’s night as he was replaced by Brandon Mulligan. Victoria took the opportunity to give Matt Flindell some time between the pipes as well. Pinnock picked up his second of the game, combining with former teammate Adam Brown at 9:53. Nanaimo’s Jimmy Delaney tallied at 15:52 but Pinnock came back a little over a minute later with his hat trick marker and Nanaimo finished the scoring off the stick of Bremner at 17:15. Tempers boiled over somewhat in the late stages of the game with the main event being a battle between Nanaimo’s Bobby Debrone and Victoria’s Jon Harnett.

bIMG 2222smallTimbermen’s Braden Kmita chases Shamrocks’ Adam Brown for the ball Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Scott Ranger led the Shamrocks with 5 goals while Cory Conway had an 8- point night on 2 goals and 6 helpers. Derek Lowe collected 3 goals and 4 assists while Sr. B call-up Blair Pinnock also racked up a hat trick and 1 assist. Team scoring lead Corey Small had a goal and 3 assists and former Jr. Shamrocks stars Karsen Leung and Adam Brown each chipped in 3 assists.

Cayle Ratcliff and Cody Bremner each scored twice and added a pair of assists for Nanaimo.

bIMG 2244smallShamrocks’ Nolan Heavenor manages to break away from the pack of T-men with the ball still in his stick – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

The Shamrocks have done all they can do now in terms of where they finish for playoff placement. In other action Friday night the Burnaby Lakers dispatched the Langley Thunder 14-6 and remain 2 points behind Victoria with one game left to play. That game will be played Saturday against Coquitlam. A Burnaby win gives them second place due to winning the season series against the Shamrocks. A Burnaby tie or loss and Victoria finishes second. In either case the series begins Wednesday, July 31 with game 2 the following Wednesday, August 7. Stay tuned!