Rocks Coming Home 2 Games Up

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By Janice Huckin

August 8, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Game 2 in the best-of-seven semi final series between the Victoria Shamrocks and Burnaby Lakers moved to the mainland and it was the visitors coming away with a hard-fought 12-11 win to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

The Rocks trailed most of the game but with a 5-goal outburst in period 3, held on for the all-important win on the road.

As in game 1, starting goaltenders were Victoria’s Matt Vinc and Burnaby’s Dan Lewis. The first period was heavy on the offense as the teams combined for 34 shots and 10 goals. The teams traded goals through the first half of the period with Burnaby scoring first shorthanded at 4:37 when Dane Stevens got to the net. The Rocks replied with a power play goal from Scott Ranger at 6:23 after a series of no-look passes as the chemistry almost certainly now appears to be there. They went ahead at 6:36 when Jr. Rocks call-up Jesse King scored from the dotted line. Play was end to end and the Lakers replied at 7:21 to tie things up, Jason Jones finishing things up on a transition break, giving the Lakers 2 goals on just 4 shots. The visitors took the lead once more on a great transition play of their own after Tyler Hass broke up a play in front of his own net and got the ball to a streaking Matt Yager at 8:52. Burnaby then went on a 4-goal run to open up a 3-goal lead by the 18:46 mark. Goals came from Robert Church at 10:43, Stevens with another pair to give him the hat trick, the second coming on the power play and Colton Clark from the dotted line at 18:46. It looked like that was how the period would end but the Shamrocks called a time-out with just 6 seconds left. With Vinc on the bench for an extra attacker, Cory Conway took the ball from his own end and let fly a bullet from just inside the rag line to close the gap to 2 at 19:59. After 20 minutes, the home Lakers were up by a 6-4 score and shots on goal were even at 17 each. Each team was tagged with 4 minor penalties as referees wanted to clamp down early.

The second period saw only 5 goals scored, 4 on special teams. Victoria closed to within a goal at 1:41 when defender Dan MacRae went coast-to-coast to shore shorthanded, in fact with a player deficit of 3-5. It was one of those highlight reel goals seldom seen from the defensive guys. Burnaby did reply with a power play marker at 2:10 Scott Jones but another shorthanded tally at 2:20 off the stick of Jeff Shattler, thanks to a face-off win by the Rocks’ Nolan Heavenor drew Victoria back within a goal. A face-off win for the Lakers gave them another power play goal at 2:30, Justin Salt regaining the 2-goal lead as the first 4 goals of the period came within that 2:30 span. The next goal didn’t come until 11:25 of the middle frame when another Jr. call-up, Brody Eastwood scored late in the 30-second clock, that being the only goal scored with both teams at full strength. Despite some great action at both ends, the score remained 8-7 for the Lakers after 40 minutes ran out and the home team also held the edge in shots on goal by a 20-14 margin.

Burnaby scored first in period 3 as Robert Church tallied his second of the contest at the 7:01 mark. The Shamrocks then went on a 5-goal run before the Lakers would hit the scoresheet again. Shattler picked up another shorthanded goal at 8:25, getting to the net to pick up a pass. More of the defensive guys got in on the scoring as Reed MacPhail used Scott Ranger as a decoy, going coast to coast to put the ball in the back of the net, unassisted at 11:44. King picked up his second of the game at 13:14 with yet another shorthanded marker, their fourth of the game as Karsen Leung got an outlet pass to him as he broke to the net. Ranger found twine at 14:30 from in close, Corey Small scored from his wrong side at 15:20 and it was the Shamrocks with a stranglehold on game 2 by a score of 12-9. The Lakers didn’t give up and, with the goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker, managed to add two goals to their total, from Jason Jones and Robert Church before the clock ran down and they dropped a 12-11 decision despite outshooting the Rocks 50-38.

Jesse King, Scott Ranger and Jeff Shattler each scored twice for the Shamrocks with Ranger and Shattler adding 1 and 4 assists respectively. Cory Conway had another very productive game, garnering a goal and 3 assists. Other goals came from Dan MacRae, Reed McPhail, Brody Eastwood, Corey Small and Matt Yager. Matt Vinc started off a bit shakey, allowing 2 goals on the first 4 shots he faced but got stronger as the game went on, finishing with 39 saves on the night. It was great to see the defense getting in on the scoring and Nolan Heavenor having a great night in the faceoff circle, winning 11 of 17 draws. Penalties were a big factor but not necessarily how one would surmise as the Shamrocks scored 4 shorthanded goals and 1 on the power play, while giving up 3 power play goals and 1 shorthanded tally to the Lakers.

At the other end of the floor it was Robert Church with three goals and 4 helpers and Burnaby’s leading scorer Dane Stevens leading the way with the hat trick and 2 assists. Jason Jones finished with a pair of goals and 1 assist while Adam Jones had a goal and 4 helpers for a 5-point night.

Game 3 comes up Friday at Bear Mountain Arena with a 7:45 pm start. In the other series it’s also a 2-0 situation with the Langley Thunder ahead of the Coquitlam Adanacs. They take to the floor at the Langley Events Center Thursday for their game 3.