By Janice Huckin
The Shamrocks have enjoyed a bit of a respite since their last action on the floor, playingfor the first time since June 24 and they celebrated with a 15-6 hammering of the LangleyThunder at the Langley Events Centre Wednesday. After jumping out to a 6-0 lead, theRocks led 7-2 after the first, 10-5 after two and scored the final 5 goals of the game to run away with the victory.
Adam Shute got his first start as a Shamrock while Rocky Bowman got the nod for Langley, although he wouldn’t last the first period. It was some of those defense and transition that got the scoring started early for Victoria as Jon Harnett scored at 2:41 picking up a loose ball off a Langley shot and scampering down the floor. Off the ensuing faceoff, Tyler Burton tallied at 2:49, finding the top corner. Corey Small struckat 4:22 with a hard shot from the dotted line as the snipers started to find the net. Jesse King, playing just his second game of the season, scored at 9:30 before Myles Kenny picked up a goal at 11:18 off a rebound. Bowman got a piece but couldn’t quite contain it. King added his second at 12:04, another shot coming off a rebound and that was the end of Bowman’s night as he was replaced between the pipes by big Brodie McDonald. Langley finally solved Shute, Jakob Doucette, getting in alone on a run at 15:08. Dustin Doudalet, picked up a power play goal for Langley at 16:16 on a sub shot from the dotted line but before the period ended, Rhys Duch found twine at 19:04 with a bouncer from outside the dotted line. Shots were even at 16 apiece but the Rocks were way ahead on the scoreboard.
King kept things going with his hat trick marker for Victoria at 2:29 but Cole Shafer replied for the Thunder at 3:41, his shot going through the top of the net – kind of a weird thing. The Rocks picked up a pair, the first off the stick of Chris Wardle at 6:02 and the second from Small, his second of the game at 8:24. A couple of Shamrocks penalties gave Langley some chances and they took full advantage, picking up a pair of power play goals, the first coming from Jordan Dance at 9:59 and the second from Matt Kristianson late in the period, at 19:15 a shot that Shute got a piece of. After two periods the Shamrocks were holding a 10-5 lead.
An early power play goal, the second from Langley’s Kristianson at the 1-minute mark got the Thunder the closest they would get in the contest as Victoria rattled off 5 unanswered including Wardle’s second at 5:07, off some great penalty kill work from King, that being a shorthanded marker. Jeff Shattler picked up a power play goal at 9:48 with a quick stick from the side of the crease. The onslaught continued as Cory Conway, Ian McShane and King rounded out the third period scoring. Final shots on goal favoured Langley by a 47-44 margin but the Shamrocks picked up a big 2 points in the standings and Langley stays in the basement with just 1 win to their credit.
Jesse King led the Shamrocks with 4 goals and 5 assists while Rhys Duch added a goal and 7 helpers. Cory Small and Chris Wardle added a pair of goals each with Small adding 3 assists. Singles came from Tyler Burton, Jon Harnett, Jeff Shattler, Cory Conway, Myles Kenny and Ian McShane. Adam Shute had a strong outing in goal and newly-acquired Doug Langlois also saw his first action in the green and white since coming over from Nanaimo. The result vaults Victoria into first place with 14 points. The New Westminster Salmonbellies also have 14 points but have played one more game and will face Coquitlam Thursday before Coquitlam visits the Q Centre Friday for a match-up against the Shamrocks. Maple Ridge sits right behind with 13 points, followed by Coquitlam with 12 as the top 4 teams fight for space atop the standings. Game time Friday is 7:45 pm at the Q Centre – Coquitlam and Victoria always big rivals.