Written by Janice Huckin

June 29, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – I wouldn’t panic just yet but the Intermediate just lost their second straight game. That makes it 3 losses on the season. We are not used to that. They are still among the top teams in the league, despite suffering an 11-8 home loss against the Maple Ridge Burrards Saturday at the Q Centre.

The Shamrocks got behind early and never held the lead but did battle back to within a goal in the third period. Starting in goal for the Shamrocks was Liam Reid while Jake Sundar occupied the crease for the Burrards. Maple Ridge got on the scoreboard at 4:50 of the opening frame with a bouncer from just inside the dotted line from Brendan Green.

They added a power play goal at 8:41 from the side of the crease off the stick of Mitch McDole and made it 3-0 at 9:56 when Harrison Floyd crashed the net and found the back of the net.  The Rocks finally solved Sundar at 10:48 when he picked up an outlet pass from Reid on the run and made no mistake. Maple Ridge answered back at 17:45 on a run off a loose ball as Tyson Kirkness found twine and that was how the period ended with the visitors holding a 4-1 lead. Despite having several power plays, the Shamrocks were unable to score with the man advantage.

Early in period 2, Victoria got into penalty trouble with a double minor and the Burrards capitalized with a pair of power play markers. At 4:04 it was Andrew Gresham scoring on a hard shot from outside the dotted line and just 24 seconds later the visitors made it 6-1 on McDole’s second of the night with a long shot from just off centre.  That was the end of Reid’s night in the Victoria net as he was replaced by Apollo Claxton. 

The visitors took no notice as they continued their run with McDole’s hat trick marker at 7:14 on a bouncer that Claxton got a piece of. Green then picked up his second of the contest at the 9-minute mark, coming off the bench to get in all alone.  That made it 8-1 and looked somewhat hopeless but one thing about this Shamrocks team is they don’t give up. They rattled off the next 4 goals of the period and a couple more into the third frame to get right back in the game.

A power play goal at 10:30 from Zack Homer got the rally started as he scored from the side of the crease. Just 19 seconds later, Ian Grundy got a goal off transition speed. Nick Preston fired a hard, low shot from just outside the dotted line that eluded the Burrards’ goaltender at 12:21 and at 17:15, Taylor Martin got the Shamrocks within 3 goals as he rifled a rebound past Sundar on the power play. That ended the period with Maple Ridge up by a score of 8-5 but momentum going the way of the Shamrocks. 

The home team kept the run alive in the final 20 minutes, Martin collecting his second goal of the night at 4:18, jostling to the front of the net.  Victoria’s goals were coming in bunches as just 18 seconds later they drew within a goal with another break off transition as Braylon Lumb made a pick up in close.

Unfurtunately, the Shamrocks started to falter or the Burrards felt things slipping away and put on the after burners. Gresham picked up 2 in a row for the visitors, both with hard low shots, the first on a power play at 13:29, the second at 15:48. Martin managed to get one back for the Shamrocks at 17:37 from the edge of the crease with the goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker. That ploy backfired at 18:20 when the Burrards picked off a pass and Kirkness scoring into the empty net at 18:20. 

Unofficially it was Taylor Martin leading the way for the Shamrocks with the hat trick. Singles came from Ian Grundy, Braylon Lumb, Nick Preston, Zack Homer and Devon Wicks. Next up for the Intermediate Shamrocks is a Sunday encounter against the Port Coquitlam Saints on the mainland. They return to the Q Centre next Saturday at 1:30 pm to take on the Coquitlam Adanacs.