Rocks Rebound, Back in Driver’s Seat

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August 26, 2014, Maple Ridge (ISN) – In another hard-fought playoff game, the Victoria Shamrocks went into the ‘hole’ in Maple Ridge Sunday and emerged with a 10-7 victory to take a 3-1 lead in their best of 7 final series.

The Rocks held a 3-1 first period lead and the teams were tied 5-5 after two before the boys in green scored 5 goals in a strong third period performance to bring home the win. 

After 3 consecutive starts for rookie Cody Hagedorn, veteran Matt Flindell got his first start in this series for the Shamrocks while Frankie Scigliano took his place between the pipes at the home floor of the arena. Corey Small got the visitors on the board just 32 seconds in with a hard shot from outside the dotted line – it was the first shot in the game. 

The Burrards replied with a power play goal at 6:10, Ben McIntosh finishing a series of side-to-side passes in close. Victoria’s speed of transition, which was mostly absent in game 3, paid off when Mitch McLaren stepped into a heavy shot from well out and beat Scigliano at 12:14. Those ‘d’ guys gave the Rocks a 2-goal lead at 17:59, Tyler Hass getting the ball to Greg Harnett who went 5-hole on the big Burrards goaltender. That made it 3-1 going to the break for the visitors who had a 15-14 edge in shots on goal. 

Maple Ridge took control early in the middle frame as McIntosh picked up his 2nd of the game at the 54-second mark, getting in close and picking up a ‘garbage goal’. It still counts and he added his hat trick marker at 3:21, ducking around a couple of defenders and letting go a bouncer to make it Victoria 3, Ben McIntosh 3. 

Rhys Duch gave the Rocks a lead once again at 4:14, gobbling up a loose ball and firing a low laser to the back of the net. Penalty trouble for the Rocks gave Maple Ridge’s power play another chance, of which they took full advantage at 12:00 off the stick of – guess who – Ben McIntosh. The teams traded goals once again before the period ended, Duch getting his second, making moves around the Burrards’ defense getting a shot away late in the 30-second clock just 36 seconds later. McIntosh made it 5 on the night with another power play marker at 18:06, getting in close on Flindell to make the score tied at 5 after 40 minutes with the shots even at 28 each.

The Burrards got their first lead of the contest at 1:23 of the final period, that goal coming shorthanded from Curtis Dickson as he faked and shot in close. During the same Maple Ridge penalty, Chris Wardle replied and notched a power play goal at 1:54 with a quick stick as he went to the net. It was the first of a 5-goal run for the visitors, as Karsen Leung picked up a loose ball and went coast to coast to tally at 5:15. 

Dhane Smith then fired a powerful side-arm shot from outside the dotted line at 10:53 putting Victoria up 8-6. Jesse King added a power play goal at 11:44 and Duch capped the drive with a shorthanded marker at 15:43, winning a footrace with a couple of defenders and opening up a 4-goal lead. With time running down, Jon Harnett was assessed a double minor which could have proved dangerous. McIntosh picked up his 6th goal of the night at 16:43 on the power play but Flindell and his mates shut the Burrards down and ran the clock in the late going to preserve the 3-goal victory. Victoria ended up with a 47-41 edge in shots on goal. 

Leading Victoria’s offense was Rhys Duch with 3 goals and 4 helpers, earning him first star honours. Corey Small and Dhane Smith each chipped in a goal and 2 assists, the former being named third star. Other goals came from Greg Harnett, Karsen Leung, Chris Wardle, Jesse King and Mitch McLaren. Matt Flindell looked solid in goal and picked up the win with 34 saves and chipping in an assist. The Shamrocks took 19 minutes in penalties versus just 8 for the Burrards in a bit of unbalanced officiating but both teams stuck to lacrosse. 

For the Burrards it was the Ben McIntosh show as he was the game’s second star with 6 goals out of the 7. Curtis Dickson had the other as he has been held off the scoreboard for the most part through the first 4 games. Frankie Scigliano had 37 saves in a losing performance. 

The Shamrocks can wrap up the series Wednesday at the Q Centre in a 7:45 pm start. It is looking very much like it will be the Six Nations Chiefs representing Ontario as they now hold a 3-1 lead in their series against the Peterborough Lakers.

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