The Victoria Shamrocks came back in a huge way on Friday night. After dropping Game One to the Maple Burrards at home, Game Two was a huge test for the Shamrocks on the road. After trailing by a goal at the second intermission, the Shamrocks delivered a strong third period and took Game Two by score of 11-9. Tied at 1-1, the series will come back to the Q Centre for Game Three.
Jeff Shattler picked a great time to have one of his best games of the year. Shattler scored four goals, including the winning goal in the third period. He also added three assists for a total of seven points, which made him the obvious choice for the game’s first star. Rhys Duch added six assists to bring his remarkable postseason point total to 50 in just nine games. The Shamrocks junior call-ups continue to contribute to the offence as well; Braylon Lumb tallied a goal, and Marshal King got an assist on one of Corey Small’s three goals.
Both Shamrocks goalies saw time in net in Game Two. Adam Shute made 20 saves on 28 shots, while Cody Hagedorn made seven saves on eight shots. For the second game in a row, Victoria heavily outshot Maple Ridge, but Burrards goalie Frank Scigliano continues to prove that he is tough to crack. After scoring eleven goals in Game Two, the Shamrocks will look for more offensive success in Game Three.
As expected, this WLA championship series has provided a strong level of intensity. Both games have been spirited contests and have included fighting majors. In the first game, it was Greg Harnett and Jarrett Davis that squared up, and in the second game, it was Ben McCullough and Owen Barker.
After a grueling seven-game series with the Burnaby Lakers, it appears that the Shamrocks have settled into this WLA championship series. The nature of the postseason schedule is brutal, but it is ultimately what makes the Mann Cup such a difficult trophy to win. The Shamrocks have now played nine games in 18 nights. After just two games in this series, it does not look like the path to the Mann Cup will get any easier.