Rhys Duch claimed first star honours with 5 goals and 4 assists
By Janice Huckin
The Victoria Shamrocks put together a pair of wins over the weekend. After a 13-3 drubbing of Langley Friday at the Q Centre, they followed up with a 12-10 road victory against the league-leading Maple Ridge Burrards Sunday.
Starting goaltenders were Cody Hagedorn for the Shamrocks and Frankie Scigliano for the Burrards. As has been the habit in many games this season, the Rocks got off to a slow start, giving up the first four goals of the contest before they woke up. Maple Ridge got things started at the 9-minute mark as Lyndon Knuttila found the back of the net. Just 38 seconds later Luke Gillespie tallied. At 10:04 Aaron Davis made it 3 goals in 1:04 as he beat Hagedorn in close. A power play marker from Mike Mallory at 14:13 made it 4-0 for the home team.
Corey Small finally got the Shamrocks on the board at 16:05, scoring from the side of the net but Maple Ridge got that one back at 19:32, Zach Porter making a run to the net to score unassisted. That made it 5-1 for the home team after the first, despite Victoria holding a 20-10 edge in shots on goal.
The Shamrocks got the first goal of period 2, Steve Higgs finding twine at 2:37 from outside the dotted line. Maple Ridge replied at 3:12, Knuttila picking up his second of the game. Now the Rocks were awake as they rattled off 4 straight. First, it was Duch scoring at 6:45. He added another at 9:13, getting in close, that one coming on the power play to close the gap to a pair.
Steve Higgs added another power play marker at 12:56 with a hard, overhand shot from the dotted line. Small then got things tied up with a goal from outside the dotted line at 14:15. The home team did manage to regain the lead before time ran out as Matt Symes came off the bench on a breakaway to score at 16:46. That made it 7-6 Maple Ridge after 40 minutes.
The Burrards opened up a 2-goal lead just 9 seconds into the final frame, Aaron Davis taking the ball from the faceoff. The Shamrocks replied with Tyler Burton getting a breakaway and making no mistake at 5:51. Power plays paid off for the Rocks for the next 2 goals, Duch picked up his hat trick marker at 7:02 from just inside the dotted line and Chris Wardle tallied with a quick stick from the side of the crease just 38 seconds later.
Victoria had a 1-goal lead but it didn’t last long as Maple Ridge got a goal from Symes at 8:11 to tie things up and then Gillespie picked up his second on the power play at 10:21. Duch, having an outstanding game, got Victoria even again at 14:05 with a hard overhand shot from the dotted line. He added another, his 5th of the game, putting the ball over Scigliano at 17:27. Victoria’s Paul Brebber was trying to kill off some time in the last few seconds but found Small who dished off to Wardle, who managed to get one more by the Maple Ridge goaltender with just 4 seconds left on the clock to make the final 12-10 in favour of the boys in green.
Rhys Duch claimed first star honours with 5 goals and 4 assists. Corey Small added 2 goals and 5 helpers while Steve Higgs had 2 goals and 3 assists to be named 2nd star. Chris Wardle also had a pair of goals with Tyler Burton adding a single while Ian McShane added 4 assists. Cody Hagedorn picked up the win in goal with 27 saves.
The result leaves the Shamrocks just 1 point behind the Maple Ridge Burrards who, as mentioned earlier, suffered their first loss of the campaign against 5 wins and a tie.
Next up for the Shamrocks is a road game in Burnaby on Tuesday, June 21 before they return to the Q Centre for a match-up against the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Friday, June 24. That game will begin at 7:45 and it will be Alumni Night. Come out and meet current and former Shamrocks at the tailgate party in the parking lot prior to game time.