The Shamrocks finished their regular season on a winning note with an 11-8 overtime victory in Coquitlam against the Adanacs. While the status of all playoff teams had been determined with the Victoria win against Nanaimo, it was important to players and coaching staff to keep some momentum going into playoffs.
The game was not as exciting as the score might indicate, although there were some bursts of action in between periods that were slightly more interesting than watching paint dry.
Starting goaltenders were Adam Shute for Victoria and Josh Phillips for the Adanacs. Goals were few and far between but it was the Shamrocks striking first, Jesse King scoring at the 2:20 mark with his team playing a man short as he got in close. There was no more scoring until the 18:03 mark when Marty Dinsdale tied things up, with a shot over Shute. King came back with his second of the night just 25 seconds later, with a bullet from outside the dotted line that went through traffic. Shots on goal were 17-10 in favour of Victoria but after 20 minutes, they held just a slim 2-1 lead.
Coquitlam came back with the tying goal 7:09 into the middle frame, Ryan Johnson getting in close. That began a streak of 3 goals within 37 seconds, one of those exciting bursts of action referred to earlier. Just 17 seconds after that, Rhys Duch connected with a hard overhand shot from outside the dotted line to restore Victoria’s lead. That lasted just 20 seconds before Reid Reinholdt once again got things even at 3 with a quick stick from in front. Victoria went on a 3-goal run to take a 6-3 second period lead, again those goals coming within a relatively short span of 2:28. The first goals came courtesy of Jeff Shattler, as he finished off a series of quick passes with a quick stick from the side of the net at 12:06. He added his second of the game at 14:26 off a loose ball pickup at centre floor, faking and shooting. Rhys Duch added his 2nd of the game at 14:44 with a shot that Phillips got a piece of but managed to get through to the back of the net. Once again the Shamrocks outshot the home team by a 17-12 margin to make it 34-22 and a 6-3 lead on the scoreboard heading into the second intermission.
Coquitlam kept pressing in period 3 and managed to outscore the Shamrocks 4-1 to send the game into an extra period. It was Reinholdt picking up his second at 7:08 from the edge of the crease. Just 32 seconds later Steve McKinley scored from the dotted line to close the gap to a single goal and Dinsdale collected his 2nd of the game at 10:19 to tie the score at 6, that goal coming off an overhand shot from the dotted line. Shattler pulled the visitors back into a 1-goal lead at 10:48 from outside the dotted line but there was a lot of time left and Coquitlam managed to tie things up at 16:51, Dinsdale picking up his hat trick marker. The shots on goal were 16-12 in the period but nothing was solved. With the score tied 7-7 the teams were headed into a 10-minute full overtime period.
The Shamrocks looked like they meant business as they rattled off 3 goals in the first 2:36 of overtime. Shattler picked up his fourth at the 25-second mark with a bouncer from outside the dotted line. King followed up with his hat-trick marker at 1:12, cutting to the front. Victoria’s defense once again chipped in as Josh Fagan picked up a rebound off a Matt Yager shot with Coquitlam’s goalie on the bench for an extra attacker to make it 10-7 at 2:36. King’s fourth of the game at 6:42 pretty much put the game away but Coquitlam kept pressing and they did manage to squeeze one more by Shute, Delmonico scoring at 19:58. Final shots on goal were 59-40 in favour of the Shamrocks.
Rhys Duch led the Shamrocks’ offense with 2 goals and 6 assists while Jesse King finished with 4 goals and 1 helper to be named first and second stars respectively. Jeff Shattler also had a 4 goal night while Josh Fagan had the other goal. Corey Small chipped in 4 assists and Adam Shute had 32 saves to get the win.
Marty Dinsdale led Coquitlam’s offense with the hat trick and 4 assists but it was goaltender Josh Phillips who picked up third star honours by virtue of his 48 saves.
Playoffs commence for the Shamrocks on Tuesday, August 9 with a home game against the Burnaby Lakers. That game starts at 7:45 at the Q Centre. The other series also begins Tuesday and will feature the second place New Westminster Salmonbellies taking on the Maple Ridge Burrards.