June 13, 2014, Nanaimo (ISN) – It was a game of ebbs and flows Wednesday in Nanaimo but it was the visiting Shamrocks who came away with an 11-9 win and the edge in the season series between the two teams.
The Shamrocks, with Charles Claxton in goal, came out flying, scoring the first two goals of the contest. Max Fredrickson tallied at 1:10, beating Nanaimo goaltender Matt Zeller with a shot from well out and at 2:09, Ryan Lewis scored from the other side of the floor. The T’Men finally got on the board at 7:12 when Cody Short got in close off a loose ball pickup.
It took only 19 seconds for Victoria’s Cole Pickup to get that one back, going on a run to score unassisted. At 10:16 Fredrickson got his second of the contest, also an unassisted effort, getting in close and finding a top corner, giving the Rocks a 4-1 lead.
That was the end of Zeller’s night as Pete Dubenski was brought into the game for Nanaimo. On the first shot he faced, he was rudely welcomed by Chris Kasper who scored at 10:31. Unfortunately, the Shamrocks ran into penalty problems when Matt Baxter was assessed a 4-minute check from behind as well as a 2-minute slashing penalty.
That was exactly what Nanaimo needed and they replied quickly with 3 power play goals to get within a goal. Mitch Parker scored at 12:31 on a long shot, Andrew Miller followed up with another long shot at 13:05 and at 13:42 Travis Mickelson rounded out the 3-goal power play barrage, off a rebound in close. Continuing with the momentum, Mickelson added another at 15:43 and that was how period 1 ended, with the teams deadlocked at 5 apiece.
Nanaimo picked up their first lead of the game in the middle frame, Short getting his second at 1:22. That lead held up for about 5 minutes when Jake Cullen pulled the Shamrocks even. Once again the teams traded goals, Mickelson getting his hat trick marker at 7:12, which lead held up for about 7 minutes until Matt Hamilton got the Rocks back even on a power play at 14:13. Owen Barker sent his team to the dressing room with an 8-7 lead when he went on a run and scored unassisted at 16:36.
The Shamrocks, knowing they needed the win to hold off the Timbermen in the standings, took charge in the final period. It was Lewis getting his second of the game, cutting through the defense and finding the back of the net at 1:32. He then added his hat trick goal at 3:41 on a run to re-gain the lead.
At 10:19 Short replied for Nanaimo with his hat trick as he got Claxton going one way and beat him to the other side to tie the score once again at 9-9. Chris Kasper picked up his second goal of the game at 12:48, going coast to coast off a loose ball.
The Shamrocks then went into defensive mode and, with Claxton coming up big and time running down, they got one more goal from their captain, Fredrickson who got a pass right in front to collect his third at 18:37. Despite pulling the goaltender for the extra attacker, the Timbermen were unable to get any closer as the Rocks took the 11-9 win and pulled 4 points ahead of their island rival.
The Shamrocks got hat tricks and 1 assist from Max Fredrickson and Ryan Lewis, while Chris Kasper picked up a pair of goals. Cole Pickup added a goal and 3 helpers with other goals coming from Matt Hamilton and Jake Cullen. Charles Claxton made 44 saves to pick up the “W” as his strong play continues.
That result, coupled with a Delta loss does a couple of things for the Shamrocks. Firstly, as mentioned it gives them a 4-point lead on the 5th place Timbermen with a game in hand. Secondly, it closes the gap on third place Delta to 3 points with the Shamrocks still holding 3 games in hand.
Next action for the Shamrocks is a home-and-away series this weekend against the Burnaby Lakers. Game 1 goes at the Juan de Fuca Arena Saturday at 5:00 pm with the follow-up also at 5:00 on Sunday in the Bill Copeland Arena.