Written by Janice Huckin

June 8, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Jr. Shamrocks let one get away from them Sunday as they took a 5-2 first period lead against the visiting Delta Islanders but were outscored 10-4 over the final 40 minutes to fall 12-8 in a very important 4-pointer.

Starting goaltenders were Charles Claxton and Ryland Hood for the home and visiting teams respectively.  The game had a lot of speed early and it was Dallas Wade opening the scoring for Victoria on a run to the net at 6:10 of the opening frame.  It took just 33 seconds for the Islanders to reply, Tyler Nett getting in close to tie things up. 

At 8:51 Max Fredrickson regained the Shamrocks lead getting open in front to take a pass from Chris Kasper but once again the Islanders replied, Evan Messanger notching a power play goal at 11:25, getting Claxton to go down and putting the ball over top.  The Rocks put together a 3-goal run to close the period starting with Ryan Lewis’ shot from the dotted line late in the 30-second clock at 12:31. 

Dallas Wade scored a shorthanded marker off some great transition speed at 18:04, his second, and with just 19 ticks left on the clock McLean Chicquen added an even-strength goal, barging through the defense to beat Hood.  That gave the Shamrocks a 5-2 lead after 20 minutes.

The home team came out on the fly in the middle frame, Jake Cullen letting a half-shot go that somehow eluded Hood to provide a 4-goal lead.  After that, it was all Delta as they rattled off 4 unanswered goals, in bursts of 2.  At 8:16 Eli McLaughlin tallied when he stepped up into the slot and fired a hard shot.  Just 17 seconds later Chase Fraser scored the first in what turned out to be a natural hat trick for him, charging through the defense.  He added a couple more in short succession at 16:13 and 17:08 with those two goals sending the teams to the dressing room after two periods knotted up at 6.

The Islanders continued their run in period 3, again scoring two goals very close together, Mike Henry scoring at 4:25 on the power play and Jonathan Phillips following up at 4:49 to open up a 2-goal lead, their first lead of the contest.  The Shamrocks bounced back, Darren Bourret diving across and finding twine at 5:37 and Chicquen picking up his second goal of the game, getting in close at 6:24. 

That tied the score at 8 and it was again the Islanders picking up steam, as they managed the final 4 goals of the contest, including a final one into the empty net to pick up the victory.  The highlight of the third period may have been a heavyweight battle between Victoria’s Matt Justason and Delta’s Patrick Thornhill who seemed to be looking for a dance partner much of the game.  Give the decision to Justason but both players received fighting majors and game misconducts for their trouble.

It was a tough loss for the Shamrocks and it pads Delta’s lead to 5 points as they sit in third place in league standings.  The Rocks still have 3 games in hand and will have to make up ground if they hope to move up and, more importantly, put some space between themselves and the 5th place Nanaimo Timbermen, who also lost today by a 23-2 score against the New Westminster Salmonbellies.. 

Leading the way for the Shamrocks were Dallas Wade and McLean Chicquen each with a pair of goals.   Darren Bourret and Jake Cullen each had a goal and 2 helpers with singles coming from Max Fredrickson and Darren Bourret.

The Shamrocks play their 4th game in 9 nights Wednesday when the travel to the Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo to take on the Timbermen.  At stake is the season series between the two island rivals – game time is 7:30.

Next home game is next Saturday against the Burnaby Lakers.  Fans, please note that game will be played at the Juan de Fuca Arena, not the Q Centre and game time is 5:00 pm as usual.