Written by Janice Huckin

July 20, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – If the oft-quoted credo that ‘defense wins championships’ is true, I don’t know if either the Intermediate Shamrocks or Delta Islanders will get a championship as they combined for 31 goals in game 1 of their best-of-three playoff series Saturday at the Q Centre.

It was the home Shamrocks on the winning end of the 18-13 score putting them up 1-0 in the series. Victoria led 9-3 after the first, were outscored 7-6 in the middle frame and each team tallied 3 times in period 3. Perhaps it should not be a surprise as both regular season games were also high scoring, both won by the Shamrocks by scores of 16-11 and 15-11.

Liam Reid got the start in goal for the Shamrocks while Delta seemed to tag team with both Jesse Young and Matt Patterson in goal. Victoria got on the board first, Brad McCulley tallying at 3:22 on a shot from the dotted line. At 4:44, Trevor Owens found the back of the net, diving across in close. Making it 3-0 for the home squad Braylon Lumb got on a run and scored at 5:52. David Byrne added yet another, unassisted, at 7:14 as he forced a loose ball, picked it up and took off. 

Delta’s Connor Leies finally answered the bell at 9:17, getting in close but the Rocks answered back at 10:36, Colten Merilainen finishing off some great ball control. Goals came fast and furious for a few minutes as the Islanders scored at 11:01 followed by a pair of Victoria power play goals from Lumb at 11:42 on a quick stick and then again at 12:19. Delta scored their third on a power play of their own at 14:51 and then the Rocks added two more power play goals as the referees must have gotten new whistles. Lumb notched his fourth goal of the contest at 17:14 and Owens added his second at 17:38. That was how the period went into the books, with the home team up 9-3 and a 23-15 edge in shots on goal.

The visitors came out with some jump in the middle frame, scoring the first two goals in quick succession. Shawn Richardson scored unassisted at 1:34 and just 11 seconds later Riley Phillips added a power play goal. Momentum switched back and forth as Victoria scored twice, followed by a pair of Delta counters, 2 more for the Rocks, etc back and forth. At the end of the period, the visitors had outscored their hosts 7-6 to trail 15-10. The first 9 goals were scored in a span of 7:58. Once again, a pretty steady trail of players to the penalty box but just 2 Victoria power play goals and 1 shorthanded marker from Taylor Martin to show for it.

Obviously both teams had run out of goals by the final period. Delta did start with a pair but the first didn’t come until the 9:01 mark and it was a shorthanded marker from Jayven Gill. Trevor Snow added an unassisted goal at 9:35, his second of the game. Apollo Claxton took over in goal for Reid at that point. Lumb scored what would be his 6th of the game at 14:53 with a quick stick. Leies added what would be his fourth of the game for the Islanders at 15:52 but the Shamrocks added a couple more before the final whistle, Taylor Martin getting his hat trick goal at 16:52 and Zack Homer adding one at 18:53. That was the end of that.

Unofficially here’s how the Shamrocks’ offense stacks up: Braylon Lumb scored six times and added 3 assists. Nick Preston had a 6-point night on a goal and 5 helpers. Taylor Martin chipped in a hat trick while Trevor Owens and Brad McCulley each had a pair. Other goals came from David Byrne, Guy Cullen, Zack Homer and Colten Merilainen who also added 3 helpers.

Two players did most of the damage for the visitors as Connor Leies had 4 goals and 2 helpers and Shawn Richardson also had 6 points with 3 of each.

Next action for the Shamrocks is game 2 of this series in Delta next Saturday. Should a third and deciding game be required it will be back in the Q Centre next Sunday at 1:30 pm. Stay tuned.