Written by Janice Huckin
August 22, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Shamrocks encountered travel problems en route to game 3 of their semi final series against the Langley Thunder Wednesday and then they had trouble with Langley as they fell 12-10 to drop behind in the series.
Game time was delayed to 8:30 and it took the Shamrocks until midway through the second period to really get things going. Matt Vinc got the start for Victoria in goal while it was Nick Rose guarding the crease at the Langley end of the floor.
Langley scored first, Adam Jones getting in close at 2:28 but the Rocks replied 40 seconds later, Jeff Shattler getting a break off a loose ball pick-up to tie thing at 1. The Thunder rattled off a pair 25 seconds apart, later in the period, Tor Reinholdt connecting from the dotted line through traffic at 13:07 and Dane Dobbie scoring on a hard low shot from the dotted line at 13:32. Victoria got one back just after the expiry of a power play, Rhys Duch rattling a shot off the post and behind Rose at 16:29 to get the Rocks back within a goal. The Thunder managed another pair before the period ended, from Ian Poole right off the faceoff at 16:28 and from Brett Mydske when he picked up a rebound with no support in front of Vinc at 18:27. That sent the Thunder to the dressing room with a 5-2 lead after 20 minutes with shots on goal pretty even at 17-16 for the home team.
Duch picked up his second of the night just 35 seconds into the middle frame with a hard low shot, that goal coming on the power play. Once again Langley came back with a pair, the second a power play goal from Mydske and it was 7-3. Victoria sent back-up goaltender Matt Flindell in for a few minutes as he came up with a few saves and no goals-allowed before Vinc made his way back. Shattler picked up his 2nd goal of the game for the Rocks, going hard to the net at 12:17 but 40 seconds later, Langley got a second goal from Mark Matthews, also going hard to the net. The Thunder then got themselves into a little penalty trouble and it cost them dearly. With Shayne Jackson off with a 5-minute major and a game misconduct, Mike Grimes took an additional 2-minute penalty and the Shamrocks replied with 3 power play goals. The first 2 came with a 2-man advantage as Brody Eastwood connected on a quick-stick at 17:50. At 18:54 Scott Ranger added another from the edge of the crease and that released the player serving the major. The Shamrocks still had a 5-on-4 advantage in manpower and Ranger scored after some great ball movement on the power play at 19:25. That brought the Rocks within a goal, down 8-7 after 2 periods and gaining momentum.
The visitors got the game tied up early in period 3, Karsen Leung scoring on a bouncer inside the post at 1:33. Langley finally stopped the bleeding as they replied with a pair, the first coming on a power play as Matthews fired a bullet from well outside the dotted line at 3:12. Scott Johnston added another for the Thunder at the 7:42 mark, opening up a 10-8 lead. The Shamrocks didn’t quit and some great hustle from Nolan Heavenor resulted in a goal off the stick of Tyler Hass at 13:06. They then notched a shorthanded marker to tie things up once again. This time it was defender Dan MacRae going coast to coast and putting the ball behind Rose. They were unable to keep the momentum going, however, as a pair of power play goals by the Thunder put the game out of reach, including the final goal into the empty net with just 9 ticks left on the clock.
It was not, by far, the best game by the Shamrocks but still they were in it right to the end and had some chances to win it. In comparison to the Thunder, the Rocks actually looked a little slow, losing the loose ball battles and not necessarily using their transition speed in moving down the floor. In any event, they come back to Bear Mountain Arena needing another win to even things back up.
Leading the way offensively for the Shamrocks was Jeff Shattler with 2 goals and 5 helpers. Rhys Duch and Scott Ranger also had a pair of goals each with 3 and 2 assists respectively while singles came from Tyler Hass, Brody Eastwood, Dan MacRae and Karsen Leung.. Game 4 goes Friday night at Bear Mountain Arena with a 7:45 pm start time. The place should be rocking and hopefully the home crowd can bring another victory.