Sr Rocks hoping to start new winning streak

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July 5, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks saw one streak come to an end last weekend after going undefeated for 10 straight games but Friday they rebounded with a convincing 12-6 win over the visiting Langley Thunder, hoping to start a new streak.

Shamrocks Jon Harnett tries to dislodge the ball from Thunder’s Adam Will’s stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Matt Flindell and Brodie MacDonald were the starting goaltenders for the home and visitors respectively. The Shamrocks came out flying and got on the board first when Karsen Leung scored on a hard shot from the dotted line. At 10:28, Tyler Hass scored unassisted as he looked to pass but took the shot and beat MacDonald. 

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Thunder’s Brodie MacDonald makes a save. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

In a game that saw only two penalties, the first went to Langley’s Alex Turner at 11:30 and that allowed the Rocks to score two power play goals. First it was Corey Small firing a cross-net shot at 11:49 and Rhys Duch followed up at 12:44 with a hard shot from well out. That was the lead the Shamrocks took to the dressing room at the end of the period, up 4-0 and leading in shots on goal just slightly by a 17-13 margin.

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Sometimes it’s hard for the officials not to get involved in the play. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

By contrast it was the Thunder firing on all cylinders to begin the middle frame. Athan Iannucci cut to the net and beat Flindell at 4:22 and he followed it up with another at 7:56, another diving attempt to bring the visitors within a pair. Alex Turner cut the gap to a single goal at 8:50 on a quick stick from the edge of the crease. 

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Thunder’s Tyler Melnyk prepares to fire on net. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

That was the wake-up call Victoria needed and they responded with a 3-goal run of their own, beginning with Dhane Smith’s goal at 9:56 on a long but not particularly hard shot. Off the ensuing faceoff, Tyler Burton added an unassisted tally. Adam Brown rounded out the streak, scoring as he was being tackled in front of the net at 15:54. Langley managed to get one back before the period ended, Quinn Smith putting one between Flindell’s legs at 18:27. That made it 7-4 Shamrocks after 40 minutes. 

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The two number 15’s, Cam Copland and Corey Small, each with their own agenda. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

It was mostly all Shamrocks in period 3, starting with Smith’s second goal of the game at 2:35, a shot from well out that went in off MacDonald. Duch collected his second with a blistering shot from well out at 3:36 before Langley woke up. 

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Thunder’s Quinn Smith does all he can to stay in possession of the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Turner collected his second and third of the game within 25 seconds as he tallied at 6:11 and 6:36. Victoria’s defense played strong all night and the offense seemed to get a second wind in the second half of the period.  Chris Wardle, who had been thwarted a couple of times earlier finally put one in the back of the net at 12:25, diving to the front of the net. Duch picked up his hat trick marker at 13:54 on another bullet from outside the dotted line. Jesse King, who had amassed 5 assists already, scored highlight reel goal on an over the shoulder shot at 18:02 and that put the game on ice.

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Shamrocks’ Adam Brown keeps his eye on Thunder’s Adam Will, hoping for the opportunity to gain possession. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Jesse King with 1 goal and 5 assists and Rhys Duch with 3 goals and 3 assists led the Shamrocks offensively. Dhane Smith picked up 2 goals and a pair of assists while Tyler Hass and Corey Small each had a goal and an assist.  Adam Brown, Tyler Burton and Karsen Leung had the other Victoria goals, all coming off transition.

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After every goal, Shamrocks fans whoop it up behind the Thunder bench. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Langley got 3 goals from Alex Turner and a pair from Athan Iannucci in a losing cause.

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Thunder’s Athan Iannucci sneakily tries to dunk the ball from behind. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The result has the Shamrocks solidly in first place with 20 points, trailed by Maple Ridge with 13 and Burnaby and Langley just behind with 12 points each. In other Friday night action New Westminster defeated Burnaby. Next action for the Shamrocks is Saturday in Coquitlam against the team that last weekend ended their undefeated streak. 

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At this moment, it’s anyone’s ball, but it looks like Thunder’s Trent Hawke has called dibs. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

They will have a couple of additional road games before they return to the Q Centre. The next home game is Friday, July 18 when the Shamrocks will take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies at 7:45 and it will be Local Heroes Night.

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