It took 6 games for somebody to break the home floor jinx in the WLA finals and it was the Maple Ridge Burrards winning game 6 at home by a 10-9 score to win the series against the Victoria Shamrocks 4 games to 2. They will go on to represent the west in Ontario against an as yet to be determined opponent.
Starting goaltenders were Adam Shute for the Shamrocks and Frankie Scigliano for the Burrards. It was Maple Ridge getting things started, Mike Mallory tallying at 8:22 getting in close. It was the start of 4 goals within a span of 1:46, 3 of which were Burrards’ goals. The Shamrocks answered back at 8:49, Steve Higgs tallying with a quick stick from in close. Maple Ridge got a pair of goals from Matt Symes to take a 3-1 lead, the first coming at 9:21 over Shute’s shoulder and the second at 10:08 with a quick stick in close. The Rocks got a power play goal from Cory Conway at 15:26 with a hard, low shot from outside the dotted line to get within a goal but Ben McIntosh restored the 2-goal lead for Maple Ridge at 19:37 to go to the dressing room with the 4-2 lead, having outshot the visitors 25-14. Victoria was assessed 4 penalties to the Burrards’ one, although that one was a 5-minute major for roughing.
Scoring came quickly and often in period 2, the first 3 goals being scored before the 1-minute mark and 6 in the first 3:05. The Shamrocks opened the scoring just 5 seconds in, off the opening faceoff, Chris Wardle converting Tyler Burton’s pass. Maple Ridge came back with an unassisted tally from Owen Barker at the 35-second mark but the Shamrocks’ Cory Small got back within a goal at the 54-second mark off a give-and-go with Rhys Duch. Maple Ridge got a pair Mallory getting his second at 1:25 and Riley Loewen from outside the dotted line opening up the 3-goal lead at 2:53. Paul Brebber got the Rocks back within a pair at 3:05, getting in alone off transition. The Shamrocks got into some penalty trouble, two players going to the box at the same time and Maple Ridge made they pay with 2 quick power play goals off the sticks of Loewen and Mallory at 8:02 and 9:30 respectively to make it 9-5. The Rocks never quit, though, and Cory Conway finished a tic-tac-toe passing play at 12:46 followed by Brebber’s second of the contest unassisted at 18:47. That was how things ended after 40 minutes, the home Burrards up 9-7 and once again holding the edge in shots on goal by a 17-13 margin. It was hard to believe the officials were not part of the Burrards as Shamrocks were dumped to the floor time and again with no call. But it is what it is and it’s been that way for a while.
The Shamrocks did win period 3 but not by enough to erase the 2-goal deficit. In fact it was Maple Ridge scoring first, Dan Taylor scoring through traffic at 7:19. Small picked up his second of the night for Victoria at 9:57 with a hard, low shot from outside the dotted line. Rhys Duch got the Rocks within a goal at 15:39 with an extra attacker on the floor and Shute on the bench. They kept trying for the equalizer but were unable to pull it off, dropping the 1-goal decision despite holding a 19-12 edge in shots on goal in the period.
Three players had a pair of goals for the Shamrocks – Paul Brebber, Cory Small and Corey Conway, Small also adding a pair of assists to be named the game’s second star. Rhys Duch had a goal and 4 helpers while Chris Wardle and Steve Higgs contributed a goal and 1 assist each. Tyler Burton chipped in 2 assists and won 14 of 22 faceoffs.
For the Burrards it was Mike Mallory with the hat trick and 2 helpers, Riley Loewen and Matt Symes each with a pair of goals with others coming from Owen Barker, Dan Taylor and Ben McIntosh.
The Burrards will go to Ontario for the Mann Cup which begins September 9. The series between Peterborough and Six Nations will be settled Saturday in game 7. You can rest assured that Maple Ridge will not get away with the stuff they get away with here with Ontario referees. I’ve been there, seen that.