May 23, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – Coming off a 13-13 tie in Nanaimo, Tuesday night, the Shamrocks played their home opener Friday before a full house at the Q Center and they came out on fire, jumping out to a 4-0 lead by the 5:08 mark and really never looking back.
Matt Flindell started in goal for the Rocks and Zach Boychuk was between the pipes for the visitors and he was besieged early. The Shamrocks didn’t get George Westwood for his goal-scoring prowess but he roared in off the opening faceoff and scored at the 22-second mark to get the party started. At 1:52, rookie Ethan Garland went on a run and scored over top of Boychuk and at 3:05 Rhys Duch fired a hard, low shot to the back of the net.
George Westwood starts the ball rolling. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Making it 4-0 at 5:08 it was Corey Small scoring on a low bouncer from the dotted line. A Nanaimo power play finally stopped the bleeding when Paul Brebber scored on a shot through traffic at 11:46. It took 28 seconds for Duch to get that one back, his second of the contest on his patented laser shot from outside the dotted line.
Ethan Garland scores a pair. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Nanaimo’s Cayle Ratcliff muscled his way to the front of the net to beat Flindell at 13:28 but once again Victoria roared back, Small collecting his second on the power play at 13:47. Things got a little – no, a lot – testy shortly when Westwood did what most feel he was brought to the Shamrocks for. He took a run at Nanaimo’s Doug Langlois at 15:29 in the period.
Cayle Ratcliff chases Tyler Hass for the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
He didn’t even get to spend any time in the penalty box as he was assessed a high sticking major, an intent to injury match misconduct and game misconduct. Bobby DeBrone of the T’Men and Tyler Burton also got into it before play could be resumed and they each received fighting majors and game misconducts for their trouble. When lacrosse did resume, Corey Small picked up his hat trick marker, from the corner of the crease, Boychuk getting a piece but not enough to keep the ball out, that goal coming at 16:20. Nanaimo managed to connect on another power play, Kyle Hofer scoring at 18:12 and that was how period 1 ended, with the home team holding a 22-11 edge in shots on goal and a 7-3 lead on the scoreboard.
Matt Flindell gets involved in the play. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Like the opening period, the Shamrocks got on a roll early and ran off 3 straight goals before an answer came from the visitors. Jesse King finished off some great passing with a goal at 2:45. Fans got their first look at newcomer Bradley Kri and, let me just say, Kri can fly and he took off like a shot, tallying an unassisted goal at 5:47.
Timbermen’s Doug Langlois tries to keep Rhys Duch distracted. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Boychuk was replaced temporarily in goal by Cory Mayzes but Duch picked up his third goal of the night at 7:01 on the only shot he faced, and at 7:30 Boychuk came back in. Nanaimo finally got back on the board with a pair of goals, Jamie Sorensen scoring in a bouncer in close at 8:25 and Mac Johnson scoring a power play goal at 14:51 on a hard, low shot. Victoria scored the last goal of the period , Small notching his 4th of the night at 16:59 and that made it 11-5 for the Shamrocks as the teams headed to the dressing room after 40 minutes.
Doug Langlois races off with the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
It looked like the T’Men might just have another comeback in them as they scored the first two goals of period 3. Kyle Hofer picked up his second of the game just 36 seconds in and, just 58 seconds later Brebber collected his second on a hard shot, going to the net. That made it 11-7 and it was as close as the visitors would get as Victoria rattled off 4 straight to put the game out of reach. Mike Pires scored at 3:10and 6:38 before Garland picked up his second at 10:04 and King got his second at 14:09 on the power play. The play throughout the period was chippy and played pretty much 4-on-4 with several incidences of offsetting minors. Cody Hagedorn relieved Matt Flindell in the Victoria cage late in the period.
Timbermen’s Devon Casey is running off with the ball… as well as Noah Talbot’s stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Leading the way offensively for the Shamrocks once again was Corey Small who picked up 4 goals for the second consecutive game and added 5 assists for a 9-point night. Rhys Duch added the hat trick and 6 assists also for 9 points. They were named the game’s first and second stars respectively. Mike Pires, Ethan Garland and Jesse King each had a pair of goals and King added 4 assists to pick up third star honours. Singles came from Bradley Kri and George Westwood, to go with his 25 penalty minutes in his first game since the 2010 season.
Things get a little ugly. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
For the visiting Timbermen, it was Paul Brebber and Kyle Hoffer each with a pair of goals, Hofer adding 2 helpers with singles coming from Cayle Ratcliff, Mac Johnson and Jamie Sorensen.
Shamrocks Derek Lowe keeps the ball from Hugh Weir. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Next action for the Shamrocks is next Friday, May 30 when Coquitlam will be in town. Game time is 7:45 pm at the Q Center.