Rocks Sweep Lakers

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By Janice Huckin

August 12, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) It will probably go down as one of the weirdest finishes in lacrosse history as the Shamrocks saw both goaltenders penalized with illegal equipment in the third period. With Derek Lowe between the pipes and the score 9-4, he and his teammates held on to sweep the Lakers winning game 4 by a 10-7 margin.

Wow! The starting goaltenders were Dan Lewis and Matt Vinc. In the early going, it looked as if the Shamrocks were going to pick up where they left off in game 3 as they scored the first 3 goals of the game before it was 5-minutes old. Corey Small fired a hard low shot to the back of the net at the 2:47 mark. He took a late hit after the fact with no call. The other Cory – Conway connected with a high hard shot to the top corner at 3:07 and at 4:47 Tyler Hass got a lead pass to Matt Yager and he found twine to make it 3-0. Burnaby finally solved Vinc, who was outstanding in game 3, getting in close at 14:51. Small then picked up his second of the game with 15 ticks left on the clock to make it 4-1 after 20 minutes. The Rocks also held a lead in shots on goal by a 21-14.

The second period was almost a carbon copy of period one as the Rocks went on a 3-goal run. Rhys Duch scored a highlight reel goal at 3:28, cutting across in front and firing between his legs on the run. He added another on the power play, in a more conventional method, going 5-hold on an overhand shot in close at 4:12. At 5:23 Derek Lowe got in close unmolested and beat Lewis to put the visitors up 7-1. Again Burnaby interrupted, Colton Clark scoring on a quick stick from the edge of the crease at 11:33. Small picked up his hat-trick marker to round out the scoring in the middle frame, firing a rocket from well outside the dotted line at 15:20. That made it 8-2 Victoria, who again held an 18-10 edge in shots, making it 39-24 after 40 minutes.

Burnaby opened the scoring in period 3, Colton Clark getting in close at 5:11. This is where things started getting interesting. Burnaby called for an equipment check on Victoria goaltender Matt Vinc who was found to be in violation. He was replaced in goal by Matt Flindell, a very capable goaltender in his own right. The Lakers added to their total, however, Dane Stevens scoring from close in with the man advantage on Vinc’s penalty and suddenly it was 8-4 at the 5:20 mark. The Rocks responded with a goal of their own, Jesse King finding the mark at 6:08. This seemed as good a time as any to check Flindell’s equipment which was also found to be in violation. Not knowing which part of which goalie’s equipment was in breach, Derek Lowe put on some pads in some combination and went between the pipes. Scott Jones got the Lakers within 4 goals with a power play goal at 6:37. There was still a lot of time left and Victoria took every opportunity to burn up as much of the 30-second clock as they could. Brody Eastwood picked up a power play goal after just such a long possession at the 8:58 mark. Burnaby did themselves no favours as they took a series of penalties down the stretch and the Shamrocks continued to hold possession as much as they could. The Lakers did manage a couple of goals with the extra man on the floor and the goaltender on the bench but ran out of time, going down to the 10-7 defeat.

Corey Small led the attack with the hat trick and 1 helper, Rhys Duch picked up 2 goals and 2 assists and Jr. call-up Brody Eastwood also had a 4-point night on a goal and 3 assists. Other Victoria goals came from Matt Yager, Jesse King, Derek Lowe and Cory Conway. Jeff Shattler chipped in 4 assists as the Shamrocks were without their captain Scott Ranger. Nolan Heavenor went 10 for 14 in the faceoff circle and Dylan Evans was 3 for 5, a dominant performance.

The Shamrocks now go on to face the Langley Thunder who also swept their series against the Coquitlam Adanacs. The Thunder have been a thorn in the side of the Shamrocks for the last few years but it appears that this Shamrocks team is finding their stride and chemistry at just the right time. Game 1 takes place in Langley on Wednesday with Game 2 back at Bear Mountain Arena likely on Friday.