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June 6, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Shamrocks, playing their second game in two nights, won another hard-fought defensive battle, defeating the visiting Maple Ridge Burrards 7-4 Friday at the ‘Q’ Centre, extending their lead atop the WLA standings.

Shamrocks Karsen Leung runs away with the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Frankie Scigliano got the start in goal for the visitors with Matt Flindell making his fifth straight start for the home team.  The opening period was very much a goaltender’s battle with each team scoring just once.  The Burrards opened the scoring when Andrew Murphy picked up a rebound and put it over top of Flindell. 

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Players try to keep their eyes on where the ball is going. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Shamrocks didn’t reply until 19:56 when Corey Small sent a bouncer from the dotted line to the back of the net.  There was lots of end to end action with Victoria holding a slight edge in shots on goal, 13-10.  There were almost as many that missed the net.

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Shamrocks Tyler Hass chases down Burrards Riley Loewen. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The second period was all Victoria but still not much scoring as they rattled off 3 unanswered to take a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.  Karsen Leung, in his second game of the season used his speed on transition to score an unassisted tally at 1:11.  Captain Scott Ranger made his presence felt for the first time this season as he found twine at 9:29 with a shot from the dotted line. 

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Burrards Jarrett Davis tries to knock the ball away from Shamrocks Karsen Leung. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Rhys Duch rounded out the second period scoring with an outside shot at 18:45.  Again the Shamrocks outshot the Burrards, this time by a margin of 19-12 making it 32-22 through the two periods.

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Shamrocks Greg Harnett goes after Jarrett Davis. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

A couple of early third period Victoria penalties gave the visitors a chance to get close and they made good use of it scoring two power play goals.  The first came at 4:10 when Spencer Evans fired a hard bounder from the dotted line.  At 5:15 Riley Loewen closed the gap to a single goal with another bullet from well out. 

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Shamrocks Greg Harnett keeps Burrards Andrew Murphy occupied. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Rocks rebounded with 3 goals in a span 1:23 to put the game out of reach.  Duch collected his second at 8:17 with a hard, low shot.  Small then got his second of the night, getting in close to beat Scigliano at 8:36.  Derek Lowe gave the Rocks an insurance goal at 9:40 with a quick stick from the side of the crease to make it 7-3 Shamrocks and Murphy got one back for the visitors late in the period at 16:58.

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Shamrocks Ryan Dilks dislodges the ball from Brandon Bertoia’s stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

It wasn’t always a sharp game with many passes going astray and the Shamrocks held a huge advantage in shots 52-33 but the two points gives them 9 points in 5 games, 3 ahead of Langley who beat Burnaby Friday.  Maple Ridge, New Westminster and Burnaby are next with 4 points while Nanaimo and Coquitlam occupy the basement positions with 3 and 2 points respectively.

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Shamrocks Derek Lowe and Burrards Dayne Michaud battle for the loose ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Rhys Duch and Corey Small each had a pair of goals and 2 assists to lead the team offensively.  Karsen Leung, Scott Ranger and Derek Lowe scored singles with the latter two also adding one helper.  Goaltenders got the top two stars, Matt Flindell with first star honours and Frankie Scigliano second with Derek Lowe the third star.

The Shamrocks have a pair of games on the road next week as they travel to Langley next Wednesday and visit the Burnaby Lakers Friday.  Next home action is Friday, June 20 when the New Westminster Salmonbellies will be in town.  Game time at the ‘Q’ Centre is 7:45 pm.