Written by Janice Huckin

July 12, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Intermediate ‘A’ Shamrocks got a big win in their new temporary home, handing the Richmond Roadrunners a 15-9 loss in a game played at Westhills Arena Saturday afternoon. The temporary move was necessitated by the Rock the Shores event at Juan de Fuca but the team didn’t seem to mind the change of venue.

Liam Reid got the start in goal for the Rocks with midget call-up Cameron Overby starting for the visitors. Richmond temporarily stunned the crowd to silence, scoring off the opening faceoff a Chandler Bradley grabbed the ball out of the air and got in close just 6 seconds in. The home time connected on a power play at the 1:59 mark to tie the score, Colten Merilainen scoring on a shovel shot in close. It was the first of what would be a 6-goal first period run for the Shamrocks. 

Merilainen picked up his second at 7:25 with a hard shot from the dotted line, a shot Overby got a piece of but couldn’t quite kill it. At 11:19 Marshal King made it 3-1, making some great loose ball pursuit and slick passing pay off.  Nick Preston, faked high and shot low to find twine at 12:51 and that prompted a change between the pipes for the Roadrunners as Rich Kratz came in. He didn’t fare much better, however, as Preston got his second of the game off a long outlet pass at 15:49, that goal coming with the man advantage. Rounding out the period, King got his second of the night at 19:22 on a long bouncer. That made it 6-1 for the Shamrocks after 20 minutes.

Before Richmond got on the board again, the Shamrocks rattled off two more to begin the middle frame. Braylon Lumb scored on a power play at 4:23, firing back over his shoulder. King added his hat trick marker at 5:54 with a hard shot from the dotted line. Finally the ‘Runners got back in the game with a goal off the stick of Patrick Ludemann at 8:45 but Preston replied a little over a minute later, a beautiful goal from a backhander on the run at 9:48. The visitors actually managed to put a 2-goal run together starting with a power play goal from Bradley at 12:46, cutting across in front. 

That was followed by a goal from Damon Prince on a hard, low shot at 14:28, cutting the gap to 5. They were unable to keep the momentum, however, as the Shamrocks scored two more before the period ended. Lumb got his second of the night at 14:51 on a bullet from outside the dotted line. Brad McCulley put an exclamation point on the period with a quick hard shot from well out at 15:16. That brought Overby back into the game for Richmond but the period ended like that, with the Shamrocks holding an 11-4 lead and 20 minutes left to play.

Play was not as sharp in period 3 as it looked like the Rocks were in a hurry to get shots away as they were actually outscored 5-4 in the period. It was also hard to tell at times if Richmond thought they were members of FIFA. In any event the Shamrocks scored first, Lumb collecting his hat trick marker at 2:50 getting in close. Richmond came back with a pair, Bradley getting his third at 3:01 and Jayden Campbell capitalizing on a power play at 6:09. The teams traded goals the rest of the way, Victoria getting goals from Preston and Lumb, their fourth each and McCulley, his second. Richmond’s goals came from Bradley, Jordan Gabrielle and Nick Jensen.

Braylon Lumb and Nick Preston unofficially led the offense with 4 goals each and 2 and 3 assists respectively. Marshal King chipped in a hat trick and 2 helpers while Colten Merilainen and Brad McCulley each had a pair of goals with McCulley also contributing 5 helpers. Rees Cullen helped the offense with 4 assists and Liam Reid went the distance in goal with another very solid performance.

The result moves the Shamrocks, temporarily at least into a third place with the Maple Ridge Burrards, and one point ahead of the New Westminster Salmonbellies, who they will face tomorrow back at the Westhills Arena. Coquitlam sits one point ahead but has completed its schedule so a win for the Shamrocks would move them into second place. It’s all very complicated but, suffice it to say the Shamrocks can control their own destiny and finish in second place by winning the games they play. Following Sunday’s encounter against the ‘Bellies – game time is 1:30 pm at Westhills – they will finish the regular season against the Nanaimo Timbermen Tuesday on the road. That game will be played at the Nanaimo Ice Centre at 7:00 pm.

Playoffs will follow so check back often for further details as dates and places are available.