The Victoria Shamrocks schedule has slowly built up to this week. They started the season against Langley a week before any other games were played, and had home games back to back Friday’s for the first two weeks of the season. Last week they crossed the Strait of Georgia for the first time this season and pulled out a 5-4 win in New Westminster on Thursday before returning home for a Friday night meeting with Coquitlam. The test continues to toughen with the ‘Rocks on the road both Saturday and Sunday this week. First, on Saturday Victoria finishes off a home-and-home with Coquitlam, part one being a 14-6 win at the Q Centre a week ago, then they face Maple Ridge on Sunday.
Victoria is coming off their best offensive performance of the season, scoring fourteen goals, the second-highest total in a game this season (Maple Ridge 16 vs Langley). Three Shamrocks had hat tricks, two had four goals, six had four points or more in the win. 2017 Draft pick Matt Hamilton had his first WLA goal, then scored three more, Junior Shamrock call up Cole Pickup also tickled the twine four times, and Corey Small tied the league lead in goals with his first-period hat trick. Small is back in the lead in all four positive statistical categories with 9 goals (T-1st), 17 assists (1st), 26 points (1st), and 51 shots (1st). His seventeen assists are just one less than the WLA’s second leading scorer has points.
Both Adam Shute and Aaron Bold are in the NLL final, and Cody Hagedorn has not flinched while given all four starts. He has twice as many wins as any other goalie, is third in GAA and save percentage while facing the most shots to date.
This weekends opponents:
Coquitlam picked up their first win of the season 10-9 against New Westminster one day after falling in the BC Capital including scoring six of the games’ last seven goals. The Adanacs fell behind 8-4 after the first period, then outscored New Westminster 5-1 in the second and scored the only goal of the third to win it. For Victoria, a quick start will be key. The Shamrocks were able to jump ahead 6-2 against Coquitlam in their meeting this year and kept their foot on the pedal, not allowing Coquitlam back into the game.
The Shamrocks and Burrards meet for the first time since that gruelling seven-game series in last year’s WLA Final. Maple Ridge sits second in league standings by way of goals for, with a 2-1 record they are tied in points with Nanaimo (2-2) and Burnaby (2-1). Maple Ridge started the season with a win, but then fell at home to Burnaby 9-5 after they were outscored by the Lakers 4-1 in the second and third periods combined. Scoring wise it’s a three-horse race, Riley Loewen leads the team with seven goals and nine assists in three games. Mike Mallory and Adam Dickinson sit second and third with fifteen and twelve points.