By: Lucas Wilson
A Mixed Week
The 2016 WLA is in full swing, and the Shamrocks have been busy, heading into their fifth game tonight. Last Friday night, Shamrocks fans were treated to a back and forth thriller at the Q Centre against the New Westminster Salmonbellies that saw the Shamrocks come from behind to win 11-9. The Shamrocks have hit the road twice since then, and came away with a win, and a loss. Overall, the Shamrocks are off to a decent start, with a 3-1 record heading into tonight’s game.
The day after Friday night’s win over New Westminster, the Shamrocks headed up island for a tilt against the Nanaimo Timbermen. After a slow start in the first, the Shamrocks exploded in the second scoring five goals. The rest of the game played out as it did the night before, with the same result. The Shamrocks and Timbermen battled back and forth trading goals, until Ethan Garland buried a chance off the rush to put the game out of reach. The 13-11 win put the Shamrocks at 3-0 for the first time since 2013.
Last night, the Shamrocks hit the road for a game against the New Westminster Salmonbellies. The Shamrocks were unable to overcome a shaky start, and saw themselves down 5-1 at the end of the first. Things improved slightly for the Shamrocks in the second period, but the Salmonbellies were able to wrap things up in the third with a couple of late goals. With the 14-6 loss, the Shamrocks fell to 3-1.
The Shamrocks’ dangerous offence is living up to its hype with impressive numbers. Cory Conway leads the league in points with 30, and Rhys Duch and Chris Wardle are in second and third with 24 and 13 points respectively. Wardle and Duch also sit one and two in goal scoring with 10 and 9 goals. After joining the team in Saturday’s game, Jeff Shattler has already impressed putting up four goals and eight assists in the just two games.
Tonight’s matchup is the Maple Ridge Burrards. Last season the Shamrocks beat them in all three matchups, although two of them were one-goal games.
Burrards Scouting Report
The Burrards are off to a good start in the 2016 season. Although they have only played two games, they have won both and sit 2-0. Thus far, the Burrards have been a strong defensive team, allowing just 11 goals in the first two games. Frank Scigliano and Charles Claxton have both had strong outings in net for the Maple Ridge. Up front, Luke Gillespie has been most dangerous for the Burrards, tallying four goals and four assists. On the back end, tough guy Daniel Amesbury has already racked up 42 penalty minutes, which leads the league after just two games.