By Janice Huckin
The Shamrocks are getting hot at the right time, winning their third straight game Saturday as they travelled to the mainland and dominated the Coquitlam Adanacs 14-6. The Rocks led 5-2 and 8-4 by period on their way to the win, then outscoring the home team 6-2 in the final frame.
Adam Shute got the start in goal for the Rocks, taking on his former team for the second time since coming over in a trade in June. Coquitlam answered with Dan Lewis. It was Victoria getting on the board early, Corey Small scoring at 1:16 on a hard, low shot. He followed up with his second of the night at 3:44, shooting sidearm around a defender. It took a while before there was any other scoring and then it was Rhys Duch giving the visitors a 3-0 lead with a quick stick in front, Doug Langlois finding him from behind the net. Jesse King made it 4-0 at 11:46 with an unassisted tally coming in from the boards. Brian Gillies finally broke Shute’s shutout at 12:43 with a great second effort but a power play goal from Small to complete his hat trick regained the 4-goal lead at 15:12 as he put a shot over Lewis. Ryan Johnson brought the Adanacs within a goal at 18:56 and that was how period one ended, with the Shamrocks up 5-2 and leading in shots 14-5.
The second period saw no scoring until the 12:54 mark when defender Max Cullen went coast to coast to score unassisted with his team shorthanded. It was the first WLA goal for the rookie. King made it 7-2 at 13:45, cutting to the net but Marty Dinsdale answered that one for the home team at 14:20, getting in alone. Small picked up his fourth of the contest at 18:51 with a shot from way out in left field to make it 8-3 but once again Coquitlam found the back of the net late in the period, Reid Reinholdt tallying unassisted at 19:13.
The second intermission featured a marriage proposal from Coquitlam’s Ryan Johnson to his now-fiancee. She said yes!!! They would have something to celebrate but it wouldn’t be a win as the Shamrocks won the third period 6-2.
King galloped to the front alone to make it 9-3 just 54 seconds into the final period. Dinsdale picked up his second of the night for the Adanacs at 2:19 as again a few goals came in pretty close succession. Ian McShane replied for the Shamrocks at 3:57 off a rebound in front and that started a 3-goal Victoria run. A goal credited to Cory Conway but appearing to be scored by King off a quick stick in front made it 11-5 at 12:07, that goal coming with the man advantage. Small collected his 5th at 13:48 before Steve McKinlay solved Shute once again at 14:55 to get the Adanacs to a 12-6 deficit. The Shamrocks added a couple more, King scoring at 15:31 and Doug Langlois going on a run to score unassisted at 18:50 to provide the margin of victory.
Corey Small finished the night with 5 goals and 2 assists, Jesse King with 4 goals and 3 helpers and Rhys Duch had a goal and 4 helpers to sweep the three stars 1-2-3 respectively. Cory Conway and Doug Langlois each chipped in a goal and 2 assists with other goals coming from Ian McShane and Max Cullen. Adam Shute picked up his 5th win of the season stopping 28 of the 34 shots he faced.
It was another huge win for the Shamrocks, bringing them to within 2 points of league-leading New Westminster Salmonbellies. The ‘Bellies wrap their season tomorrow as they take on the currently fourth place Maple Ridge Burrards. Burnaby came up with a win over the Nanaimo Timbermen and sit in third place with 21 points, 2 ahead of the Burrards and their season now over. The Shamrocks are truly masters of their own destiny as they play the final two regular season games next weekend. They begin at home Friday, August 5 against the Nanaimo Timbermen and travel back to Coquitlam for one more game against the Adanacs on Saturday.
Shamrocks playoff tickets go on sale at the office on Langford Parkway on Tuesday at 9:00. Don’t forget the final regular season home game is next Friday. It will be Fan Appreciation Night with lots of give-aways, and a pre-game tailgate party in the parking lot.