Written by Janice Huckin
August 21, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – The Victoria Shamrocks made it 5-0 in the 2014 playoffs as they handed the visiting Maple Ridge Burrards a 9-5 loss at the Q Centre Wednesday in game 1 of their best-of-seven league final series.
Burrards’ Jarrett Davis gets a ‘checking from behind’ penalty. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
It was a low-scoring affair that deteriorated into a penalty-filled third period but the Rocks held period leads of 2-1 and 5-3 on their way to the win.
Rookie Cody Hagedorn got the start in goal for the home team while the league’s apparent top goaltender Frankie Scigliano was between the pipes for the visitors. Brandon Bull got Victoria on the board first but not until 7:17 when he finished off some great passing around the Maple Ridge Crease. The Burrards tied the score at 9:47 with a Hail Mary pass up the floor on the penalty kill that put Colton Porter in alone to tally shorthanded.
Shamrocks’ Dhane Smith keeps Burrards’ Patrick O’Meara from gaining possession. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The Rocks’ power play capitalized at 14:07 as captain Scott Ranger put in a rebound and that was all the scoring in the opening frame despite Victoria holding a 25-5 edge in shots on goal. The Burrards took all 4 minor penalties in the period so you could pretty much count on the Rocks taking some soon.
Shamrocks’ Bradley Kri somehow gets knocked into the Burrards bench. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The Shamrocks went on a 3-goal streak in the middle period, the first coming at 1:14 off the stick of rookie Chris Wardle who is not afraid to go to the net and it very often pays off. Ranger picked up his second of the night at 10:29 but not before the Shamrocks got an outstanding 5-minute penalty kill. Incidentally, it was the Burrards who seemed to make the 5-minute call as the officials originally scheduled Tyler Hass to sit for just 2.
Shamrocks’ Ryan Dilks keeps his eye on the ball that is still firmly in place in Burrards’ Curtis Dickson’s stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The goal came with an extra attacker on the floor on an about-to-be-called delayed penalty to the Burrards and was a great boost to the team. Ryan Dilks made it 5-1 at 13:28 after a steal and a break down the floor, beating Scigliano with a corkscrew shot in close.
A collision in the Burrards net…and behind. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The visitors mounted a comeback with a pair of late goals, Patrick OMeara scoring unassisted at 17:12 on a breakaway and Ben McIntosh pulling his team within a pair of goals as he scored from a crowd right in front. Shots on goal were even in the middle period, 9 apiece and the Shamrocks were up 5-3. Victoria took a minor and major penalty in the period against just a single coincidental minor penalty to Maple Ridge.
The move that set up four concurrent fights. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The visitors got within a goal just 24 seconds into period 3, Curtis Dickson scoring on a hard low shot from the centre slot. Tempers started to flare and a steady parade to the penalty box took place pretty much from then on, starting at the 41 second mark. The Rocks’ power play generated a goal at 1:45, Corey Small connecting on a quick stick from the side of the crease.
The officials were kept on their toes the entire game. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Once again the visitors responded, Riley Loewen scoring at 4:18 in close. That was the last goal Hagedorn and his mates would allow while they added 3 more to their side of the ledger. Tyler Hass scored a big goal off a breakaway, faking a few times before putting the ball in the back of the net at 7:25 following another great penalty kill.
Shamrocks’ Cody Hagedorn makes another save. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Wardle picked up his second of the game at 13:30, that goal coming off a rebound right in front. Things really went off the rails at 13:48 when Maple Ridge’s Travis Irving took a run at Hagedorn in the crease. That drew a crowd and when the dust settled 3 players from each team were sent for early showers.
For Maple Ridge it was the aforementioned genius Irving who received two 5-minute majors and a game misconduct, Kevin Reid and Aaron Davis who were given 5-minute fighting and game misconducts. The Shamrocks lost Jon Harnett, Tyler Hass and Karsen Leung all with fighting major and game misconduct penalties. The 5-minute power play resulted in Victoria’s third power play goal of the night, Dhane Smith doing the honours at 18:20.
Burrards’ Creighton Reid tries his best to shake the ball loose from Shamrocks’ Jesse King’s stick. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The silliness was not quite over yet as the Burrards’ scoring hero Curtis Dickson took a 5-minute slashing major and also a game misconduct at 18:51. It was a moot point as the Shamrocks were able to run the clock and pull out the victory without further damage. Once again it was the Rocks holding the edge in shots on goal by a margin of 15-7 in the period.
Burrards’ Riley Loewen takes charge of the ball. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Offensively the Shamrocks were led by Chris Wardle and Scott Ranger with 2 goals each although Dhane Smith had a 5-point night with a goal and 4 helpers while Rhys Duch contributed 4 assists to the effort. Other goals came from Ryan Dilks, Tyler Hass, Corey Small, who also had 3 helpers, and Brandon Bull.
Duch and Ranger were named the game’s first and second stars respectively but you could have come up with about 8 stars, such was the very strong team effort. Cody Hagedorn, in his first ever WLA playoff start, while not very busy, did turn aside 16 shots, many of the dangerous variety to pick up the win.
Nobody from the visiting team scored more than once but goaltender Frankie Scigliano was named the third star by virtue of his 40-save performance between the pipes.
It promises to be a tough series – the series between Burnaby and Maple Ridge was also a very highly penalized affair. The Shamrocks used their power play to sweep the Salmonbellies and fans are hoping they will do the same in this series if the Burrards continue to put them in a position to do so.
Game 2 takes place in Maple Ridge Friday night at 5:45 with game 3 back at the Q Centre Sunday, August 24. That game will begin at 6:00 pm.