The Shamrocks are closing in on the first place Maple Ridge Burrards with a 12-9 road win against the Burnaby Lakers Tuesday
By Janice Huckin
That result leaves them 1 point behind the Burrards with a game in hand.
Cody Hagedorn got the start in goal for the Shamrocks with Zac Boychuk at the other end. Both goaltenders were very good as the game was back and forth all night with many transition breaks for both sides. It was the Shamrocks opening the scoring just 39 seconds in, Corey Small getting in close.
Ian McShane put the visitors up by a pair when he collected a pass from behind the net from Chris Wardle at 2:42. Burnaby got on the board just 18 seconds later when Robert Church got in close to narrow the gap to 1. Jesse King, in his first game back in the Victoria line-up since returning from school, picked up his first 2 goals of the season as he tallied at 9:40 from right in front. The second came at 10:35, cutting to the net to pick up a great feed. Once again, the Lakers replied, Dane Stevens with a quick stick at 13:54 but the pattern repeated as Victoria scored the next two.
Jr. Shamrock call-up Dallas Wade gathered in a long outlet pass from Tommy Arsenault to find twine at 16:02 and just 45 seconds later, Cory Conway made it 6-2, cutting to the net. Matt Beers cut the gap to 3, finding the back of the net with a behind the back shot after a Hagedorn save. Shots were slightly in Burnaby’s favour but they were behind 6-3 on the scoreboard after the first 20 minutes.
If Victoria won the first period, Burnaby won the second, outscoring the visitors 5-3. Church picked up his second for the Lakers at the 56-second mark, finding the top right corner. The Shamrocks got the next 2 to open up an 8-4 lead. First it was Chris Wardle, coming off the bench to get in alone at 4:03.
Small followed up with his 2nd of the game from outside the dotted line at 9 minutes of the period. The teams then traded goals as Burnaby utilized some great speed on transition and Neil Arbogast tallied at 10:06 after Jackson Decker had picked off an errant Shamrocks pass. Small picked up his hat trick marker, tip toeing around the defense at 14:23.
After that, the Lakers got on the longest run of the game as they notched the next 3 before the period ended. Scott Jones collected a long outlet pass at 15:05 before Church picked up his hat trick marker, finishing off a series of tic-tac-toe passes at the 18:45 mark. To add insult to injury, just 16 seconds later, Ilija Gajic connected on a shot from outside the dotted line. After two periods, the Shamrocks were up by a goal, 9-8.
The third period belonged to the Rocks as King picked up 2 more goals to make it 4 on the night. The first one came on the power play just 56 seconds in. Jackson Decker got that one back at 3:05 and action went back and forth for the next 10 minutes or so. King picked up his 4th at 12:46 off a rebound in front. Burnaby started to pull netminder Boychuk with a little under 3 minutes left in the contest but it backfired when he was unable to get back in, allowing Victoria’s tranny to score as Miles Kenny picked up a Jon Harnett pass to score the final goal of the game at 17:46. Shots on goal were even at 44 apiece over the 60 minutes.
Jesse King led the Shamrocks with 4 goals and 1 helper to claim first star honours. Team captain Corey Small chipped in three goals while Cory Conway, returning to action after missing a few games to injury added a goal and 4 assists. Jeff Shattler had 4 assists and single goals came from Chris Wardle, Ian McShane, Myles Kenny and Jr. ‘A’ call-up Dallas Wade.
The Shamrocks return to the Q Centre this Friday, June 24 for the first time in two weeks where they will take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies at 7:45 pm. It will also be Alumni Night at the Q Centre complete with tailgate party, a chance to meet and mingle with current and former Shamrock players. For the first time ever, a Shamrocks jersey will be retired as Fred ‘Whitey’ Severson’s #8 sweater will be raised to the rafters. In addition, the Shamrocks Alumni Association will hand out some scholarships and raffle off a 1999 Mann Cup Game Worn Gary Gait Jersey. Should be a lot of fun – come out and cheer the Shamrocks on.