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Written by Janice Huckin

May 31, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Shamrocks are perfect at home, as they picked up a hard-fought 7-6 victory over the visiting Coquitlam Adanacs Friday at the Q Center.

Matt Flindell got his third consecutive start for the Shamrocks while Adam Shute got the call for the visitors.  Victoria’s captain and leading scorer got things started when he scored on a hard, low shot at 2:15 of the opening period.  The Adanacs tied things up at 8:05 when they went on a run 2-on-1 and Tyler Garrison found the back of the net.

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‘Almost’ all eyes are on the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

That was all the scoring until the final minute of the period when Tyler Hass collected a long outlet pass from goaltender Flindell to notch a shorthanded marker at 19:21 which was followed by a Coquitlam power play goal just 19 seconds later off the stick of Brandon Goodwin who found some space in the top corner.  Despite out-shooting the visitors 16-12, Victoria had to settle for the 2-2 tie going to the dressing room after 20 minutes.

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Adanacs’ goaltender Adam Shute makes a nice save. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Rocks broke things open a bit in the middle frame, scoring 4 of the 5 goals with the first not coming until halfway through the period.  Rookie Ethan Garland converted a pass from Ben McCullough who picked up the loose ball, making it 3-2 Victoria at the 10:43 mark.  Small picked up his second of the contest a couple of minutes later, firing a low roller to the back of the net at 12:49.

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Junior Shamrocks callup, Nate Wade, and Chris Wardle take care of a little business. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Adanacs finally managed to solve Flindell once again at 17:08, a shot from Kyle Dobbie that Flindell got a piece of but saw it trickle through.  Brandon Bull got that one back just 26 seconds later, getting in close and capitalizing on some good ball control by his teammates.  At 18:44 it was Small picking up his hat trick goal, on a run with Garland, making it 6-3 after two periods.

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Adanacs’ Kyle Dobbie gets it from both sides. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The visitors connected early in the final period, Brett Hickey putting the ball over Flindell’s shoulder just 42 seconds in but the Shamrocks re-gained the 3 goal lead on a rare penalty shot at 9:40.  This time it was Ben McCullough coming up with the goal after he was hauled down unceremoniously.

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Shamrocks Adam Brown keeps the ball as he slips away from Adanacs’ Mark Negrin. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

A bit of a lack of discipline by the Shamrocks gave the Adanacs a 3-minute man advantage which resulted in two power play goals as Jaeden Gastaldo connected at 14:39, crashing the goaltender to do so and Ryan Keith closed the gap to a single goal at 15:28 when he found the top corner.  That was as close as it would get as the Shamrocks did a great job of killing the clock in the final couple of minutes to preserve the win.  The visitors heavily outshot the Rocks in period 3, by a 17-8 margin and 42-39 overall in the game.

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Adanacs’ Brett Hickey must make a quick decision before being approached by Shamrocks’ Tyler Burton. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

The Rocks were playing without a couple of their offensive superstars but showed they could play strong defensively and the fans in attendance were treated to a very entertaining game with very few penalties.  Leading the way for the Shamrocks was Corey Small with the hat trick as he was named the game’s first star.  Singles came from rookies Brandon Bull and Ethan Garland who also had an assist each.

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Shamrocks’ Nate Wade charges towards the Adanacs’ net with the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Tyler Hass and Ben McCullough on the penalty shot also scored once.  Matt Flindell kicked out 36 of the 42 shots and also picked up an assist as McCullough and Flindell picked up second and third star honours.

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Two players get tangled up. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The win puts Victoria atop the league standings with 2 wins and a tie for 5 points.  There is a log jam right behind them as Maple Ridge and Burnaby each have 4 points, Nanaimo 3 and the other 3 teams with 2 points each.  Victoria’s next action is on the road Thursday, June 5 when they will face the New Westminster Salmonbellies at Queen’s Park Arena.

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The players can only watch the loose ball as it is too high to reach. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN) 

They return to the Q Center Friday, June 6 to host the Maple Ridge Burrards.  It will be Mascot Madness at the arena so come out and see your favourite mascot in action.  Game time is 7:45 pm.

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The Shamrocks win the game with a score of 7-6. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)