By -Janice Huckin
The Mann Cup is now a best of three as the Peterborough Lakers came back to take game 4 beating the host Victoria Shamrocks by an 8-6 margin Tuesday at the Q Centre, to even the series at 2 games apiece.
Both teams once again went with their #1 goaltenders, Matt Vinc for Peterborough and Aaron Bold for the Shamrocks. Victoria jumped out to the early lead, Rhys Duch firing a bullet from outside the dotted line just 1:55 in. It took almost 10 minutes until the next goal and that came from the Lakers’ Curtis Dickson at 11:16 as he spun around in front and scored just after Victoria had killed off a penalty. Victoria regained the lead with just 36 ticks left on the slot, Jesse King getting credit when Vinc made the save but couldn’t quite hold on as it trickled across the goal line. Victoria had the edge in shots on goal by a 14-10 margin but just the slight lead after 20 minutes in a fast-paced, tight defensive battle.
The Lakers opened the scoring in the middle frame, Scott Stevens getting back into the line-up after sitting for games 2 and 3 and beating Bold at the 2:30 mark. Victoria regained the lead at 3:44, Dan Dawson getting in front, faking and shooting to make it 3-2. Victoria’s power play really fizzled – not sizzled – as they not only didn’t score but gave up a shorthanded marker at 5:43 to Dickson who got in alone. The teams continued to trade goals as defender Greg Harnett pulled the Rocks into the lead at 8:28 again off transition, but Dickson picked up his hat trick goal at 11:14, shooting around traffic. His opposite number, Shamrocks captain Scott Ranger replied at 11:58, cutting across. That lead held up until the 17:32 mark when Brad Self tallied for the Lakers, finding the top corner behind Bold. Peterborough then took their first lead of the game at 18:37, a lead which they would not relinquish through the final 20 minutes. Once again the Shamrocks held the lead in shots on goal, this time 15-11 and 29-21 through two periods.
Peterborough made it a 3-goal run with the first goal of period 3, Dickson making it a 4-goal game at 7:48 after yet another penalty kill. Victoria’s power play finally got plugged in, Jesse King getting his second of the game at 11:56 with a bullet from the dotted line but that was as close as the Shamrocks would get as Self put the game away with an empty netter at 19:30. Unofficially Victoria was 1 for 7 on the power play, giving up one shorthanded goal along the way. Only Jesse King picked up more than 1 goal, notching a pair, adding one assist and being named the Shamrocks’ player of the game. Corey Small picked up 4 assists while Rhys Duch, Dan Dawson and Scott Ranger each chipped in a goal and a helper.
Curtis Dickson led the Lakers with 4 goals and 1 assist while Brad Self added a pair of goals, Dickson receiving player of the game honours for Peterborough. Matt Vinc made 34 saves on his way to the “W”.
Game 5 takes place Wednesday and we now know there will be at least a sixth game, that scheduled for Friday at the Q Centre, once again a 7:00 pm start.