Shamrocks dominate season finale

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Written by Janice Huckin

August 2, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks were looking to rebound from their only home loss of the regular season and they did it in a big way, hammering the visiting Nanaimo Timbermen 10-2 at the Q Centre Friday night.

Jr Shamrocks call-up, Mason Pynn, dives for the loose ball after a face-off. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

It was great to see Matt Flindell back between the pipes for the Shamrocks, after sitting out a few games recovering from an injury. His counterpart at the other end of the floor was workhorse, Zack Boychuk. 

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Shamrocks’ Ethan Garland tries desperately to shake the ball loose from Timbermen Paul Brebber’s stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Corey Small got the Shamrocks’ offense started 2:23 into the opening frame, getting a rebound and putting it in the back of the net. At 8:12 Rhys Duch made it 2-0 getting in close on a run. Nanaimo narrowed the gap to a single goal when former Jr. Shamrock Brody Eastwood tallied unassisted at 11:56 on a quick backhander in close. Before the period ended, Karsen Leung, also returning after some time off, scored a shorthanded marker, finishing off some quick passes in close at 18:23. 

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Timbermen’s Paul Brebber is aware he’s being persued by Shamrocks’ Adam Brown, but he keeps the ball tucked away. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

That was all the scoring in the opening 20 minutes but it looked like it might be a long night of penalties as there was a steady parade to the sin bin. There were some decidedly odd calls, especially when Victoria sniper Dhane Smith was called for ‘attempt to spear’ which apparently results in a 5-minute major and a game misconduct. HMMMM. After the intermission it was announced that the penalty was actually 5 minutes for high-sticking (what is intent to spear anyway?) and the game misconduct stood. 

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Timbermen’s Mac Johnson chases Shamrocks’ Jesse King as they sprint across the floor. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Rocks scored all 4 goals in the middle frame but the penalty parade did not continue, fortunately. Just 37 seconds in, Duch picked up his second goal of the night as the team showed some great ball control. Ethan Garland scored a nice highlight reel goal, grabbing a long outlet pass from goaltender Flindell and getting in alone put the ball over top of Boychuk at 1:12. 

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Timbermen’s Cayle Ratcliff doesn’t end up escaping with the ball in this situation. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN) 

Jesse King made it 6-1 at 4:13 on an unassisted goal off a rebound. He then added a power play goal at 12:46 to round out the scoring. There were just 4 penalties called in the period, two to each team. The Shamrocks held a 38-17 edge in shots on goal and it showed on the scoreboard. 

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Shamrocks’ Rhys Duch goes on to score three goals during this game. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The home team again jumped on the board early in the final period, Duch getting his hat trick marker at 7:43 from the dotted line. Small then got his second at 9:01, a bullet from outside the dotted line. The visitors finally halted Flindell’s shutout streak at 45:23 when Graham Palmer scored on a hard low shot at 17:19. With just 36 ticks on the clock, Jr. Shamrock call-up Mason Pynn scored his first ever WLA goal to make it a 10-2 final. 

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Shamrocks’ Ben McCullough gives Timbermen’s Brody Eastwood, some rough treatment hoping he will lose the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

All in all, it was not a very exciting game and, for the Timbermen, a disappointing end to a season that started with such promise. For the Shamrocks, they will be heading into playoffs on a winning note. Rhys Duch had a 5-point night on 3 goals and 2 assists while Corey Small tallied twice and added 2 helpers. They were named first and second stars of the game respectively and they also finished tied atop the scoring statistics. 

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Shamrocks’ Tyler Burton is determined to keep the ball in his stick as Timbermen’s Barclay Hickey begs to differ. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Rookie Jesse King chipped in 2 goals and 3 assists with singles coming from Ethan Garland, Karsen Leung and Mason Pynn. Matt Flindell was solid, deflecting 31 shots. 

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The loose ball hangs mysteriously in place as the action seems to be going on all around it. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Nanaimo’s goaltender Zack Boychuk was named the game’s third star as he faced 58 shots with very little support in front of him. Their two goals came from Graham Palmer and Brody Eastwood. 

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Timbermen’s Ben Snider is determined to get the ball away from Shamrocks’ Karsen Leung. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

In other Friday night action, Coquitlam thrashed the playoff-bound Burnaby Lakers 16-9. Both playoff series begin Wednesday night, August 6 as the Shamrocks will host the New Westminster Salmonbellies at 7:45 pm at the Q Centre. Game 2 of that series goes Friday in Queen’s Park Arena with a 6:00 pm start time. Burnaby will host the Maple Ridge Burrards Wednesday in the other series.


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