The WLA season is officially under way and the Shamrocks came up with their first win, as they bested the visiting Langley Thunder 10-9 in dramatic fashion.
It was a full house for the Rocks’ home opener, following the tailgate party pre-game festivities as Cody Hagedorn got the start in goal for Victoria with big Davide DiRuscio his counterpart at the other end of the floor. The first period saw no goals until the 12:32 mark when Langley’s JP Kealey got in close to put the ball behind Hagedorn. The answer came just 7 seconds later, Casey Jackson scoring in his first game with the Sr. Rocks, on a run. At 15:44 Victoria took the lead with the first of two straight goals off the stick of another newcomer, big Mike Triolo finding twine at 15:44, cutting to the net to take a pass. He followed up with his second on a quick stick at 17:08, that goal coming on the power play as the Thunder took all 3 penalties assessed in the opening 20 minutes. Shots on goal were heavily in favour of the home team by a 19-9 margin.
Victoria opened up a 3-goal lead at 2:05 when yet another newcomer, Cody Nass, a draft pick out of the Delta Jr. ‘A’ association, put a shot behind DiRuscio off a rebound. Langley rebounded with a pair of their own, the first coming at 4:29 with a hard shot from outside the dotted line from Bryce Brochu and the second from Justin Martin at 5:09, that goal coming shorthanded and suddenly it was just a 1-goal lead, Victoria leading 4-3. The Shamrocks took the momentum away with a couple, the first a spower play from Jackson at 6:22 and the second from Steve Higgs at 7:25 on a breakaway. With the score 6-3, Langley scored 5 of the next 6 goals. First it was James Rahe connecting on he power play at 8:45. The Rocks got that one back at 10:29 with Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks Cole Pickup finding the back of the net on a run off a turnover. Langley finished the period with 4 straight, two of those with the man advantage .
Brett Dobray tallied at 11:23 followed by Rahe’s second of the night at 14:09 on the power play. J.P. Kealey scored the final 2 goals, the first at 18:33 on the power play and the second unassisted with a hard, low shot at 19:28. That gave the visitors the 8-7 lead after the middle frame. They also outshot the Shamrocks 19-14.
After seeing 11 goals scored in the second period, the third was more like the first with just 4 goals being scored and once again, Victoria taking the edge 3-1 in that department. Nothing found the back of the net until Shamrocks’ captain Corey Small scored his first of the contest on the power play at 11:16 with a hard shot from outside the dotted line. He followed up with his second from about the same spot at 14:26 to put the boys in green back in the lead. At 16:51, Brochu got things tied up once again, getting in close and suddenly it was 9-9 with the possibility of overtime looming. With less than half a minute left on the clock, Victoria used their second time out of the game and pulled Hagedorn for the extra attacker. It paid off when Nass picked up his second of the night off a rebound with just 5 ticks left on the clock. Langley was unable to gain possession off the ensuing faceoff as time ran out on them.
Victoria’s offense was led by Cody Nass with 2 goals and 5 helpers as he was named the game’s first star. Mike Triolo and Corey Small had a pair of goals and 3 assists each with Casey Jackson also scoring twice as Triolo earned third star honours. Cole Pickup, the junior ‘A’ call-up had a goal and 3 helpers with Steve Higgs adding the other. Cody Hagedorn had 28 saves on 37 shots to preserve the victory.
J.P. Kealey had the hat trick and 3 assists to lead the Thunder while they got 2 goals each from James Rahe and Bryce Brochu who was named second star.
Victoria’s next game is another home game, next Friday at the Q Centre. Start time is 7:00 pm and it will be the Burnaby Lakers coming to town.