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Written by Janice Huckin

June 28, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – It was family night at the Q Centre and those in attendance were treated to an exciting WLA lacrosse game that ended in a 9-9 tie between the Shamrocks and the visiting Maple Ridge Burrards.

Burrards Curtis Dickson gets a holding penalty. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Starting goaltenders were Matt Flindell for Victoria and Frankie Scigliano for the visitors. The game was full of action from beginning to end and, despite holding a first period 3-2 lead, neither team was able to pull away with the biggest goal difference being just 2. Maple Ridge got on the scoreboard first, Riley Loewen finding the back of the net from the dotted line at 4:37.

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Shamrocks newest player, Dhane Smith, breaks away from Burrards Colton Porter. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Shamrocks got even at 7:22 with Rhys Duch getting in close to beat Scigliano. Loewen tallied again at 9:28, this one from in close. It looked like it was going to be the Duch-Loewen show when Duch picked up his second of the game at 11:47, once again bringing the Rocks even with a hard shot from the dotted line.

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

It was a bit of an unlikely source giving the home team their first lead of the game at 12:43 when defender Jon Harnett picked off a Maple Ridge pass and went coast to coast to score an unassisted tally. That was how the first period ended, with the Shamrocks holding a slight 3-2 lead and a slim 14-13 lead in shots on goal.

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Shamrocks Karsen Leung gets tripped up but manages to keep the ball in his stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Burrards came out on fire in period 2, Jarrett Davis finding twine just 26 seconds in as he was in very very close. Maple Ridge re-gained the lead at 7:31, this time Curtis Dickson doing the deed, dumping the ball over top of Flindell. Victoria responded with a 3-goal run, including a couple on the power play.

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Shamrocks Karsen Leung breaks away towards the opposing net. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

First it was Corey Small scoring with the man advantage at 11:38 from the side of the crease, that goal coming just 12 seconds into the power play. Right after that, Maple Ridge found themselves again in the sin bin and 20 seconds into that power play it was newcomer Dhane Smith finding the back of the net with a quick stick from the side of the crease at 13:11. The Rocks kept the momentum going with a third straight goal, this one off the stick of Mike Pires at 13:37 as he let go a hard, rising shot from outside the dotted line, giving the home team a 6-4 lead.

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Burrards Dayne Michaud stops Shamrocks Dhane Smith from pursuing the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Unfortunately they couldn’t hold it and the Burrards scored two before the period ended, the first coming from Mike Mallory at 16:48 on a power play as the shot seemed to go right around Flindell. The second came at 18:42 when Dickson got his second which went off the post and in. Nothing was solved after 40 minutes; the teams were tied up at 6-6.

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Burrards Zach Porter and Shamrocks Corey Small get tangled up, loosening the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

On to the third period and it was Maple Ridge again scoring first, Dickson collecting his third at 7:38 from in close. It looked like Victoria’s streak might come to an end when Mitch McLaren was assessed a 5-minute high-sticking penalty at 7:51 of the period but it was actually the Shamrocks who got things back even when Small scored a shorthanded goal, dipsy doodling in close and beating Scigliano at 8:49.

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Burrards Curtis Dickson tallies up 5 goals and 2 assists. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Burrards did get one on that particular power play, again it was Dickson doing the damage with a hard, low shot at 9:18.  With 2 minutes left on the McLaren major, the Shamrocks took total control and did a masterful job on the rag and actually had a couple of scoring chances as well but were unable to convert. They did get the tying goal later, however, and again it was Small scoring at 15:43, his third of the night on a shot that went off the goalie and over the line. With 60 minutes in the book, nothing was solved. Things were tied up 8-8 and we were heading into a 10-minute overtime.

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Shamrocks netminder Matt Flindell, gains the ball from behind his net. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

As in all previous periods, the visitors took the lead, Dickson – who else – picking up his 5th of the game at 4:03 with an over-the-shoulder shot. The Shamrocks weren’t giving up and it was actually a speedy defense-tranny pair that saved the day as Matt Yager got the ball up the floor to a streaking Tyler Hass who made no mistake as he scored at 8:45.

Each team had chances in the final minute but couldn’t put the game away and it goes into the book as a tie, the second of the season for the Shamrocks. Still, they remain undefeated as they head to Coquitlam for a game on Saturday.

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Shamrocks Rhys Duch holds onto the ball while trying to get away from Burrards Garrett McIntosh. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

For the Shamrocks, it was Corey Small leading the way with 3 goals and 4 assists to take first star honours. Rhys Duch contributed a pair of goals and 2 helpers with singles coming from Tyler Hass, Jon Harnett, Mike Pires and newcomer Dhane Smith who also had 2 assists and was given a warm welcome from his new fans. Jesse King chipped in 3 assists.

Curtis Dickson had 5 goals and 2 assists and was named second star for the Burrards while Riley Loewen had a pair of goals and 2 helpers with other goals coming from Mike Mallory and Jarrett Davis, who also had 3 assists.

The result gives the Rocks 18 points atop the league standings, 6 points ahead of second place Langley and 7 ahead of the Burrards, with 1 game in hand over both of those teams. As noted, the Shamrocks will take on the Adanacs on Saturday on the mainland and return to the Q Centre next Friday, July 4 to take on the Langley Thunder. Game time as always will be 7:45 and it will be Western Speedway night at that game with family passes being given away to the early birds.