The Shamrocks suffered their first loss of the season Saturday as they fell to the Coquitlam Adanacs on the mainland by a 7-6 score. With a 4-1 record, they still lead the league just 2 points ahead of the Maple Ridge Burrards who hold a game in hand. Those two teams will go head to head Sunday for the first time since the Burrards eliminated the Rocks from last year’s playoffs.
Starting goaltenders were Cody Hagedorn for Victoria and Dan Lewis for the home Adanacs. Matt Symes put the home team ahead at 4:35, taking a cross-crease pass to beat Hagedorn. A power play goal from the stick of Reid Reinholdt at 6:01 from outside the dotted line made it 2-0 Coquitlam. Mike Triolo replied for the Shamrocks at 19:57, taking a pass in front and burying it. That was how period one ended, with Coquitlam holding a 2-1 lead.
Another power play goal just 1:27 into the middle frame opened up a 2-goal lead for the Adanacs, Mike Krgovich going in on a breakaway off a loose ball pickup. Victoria got that one back, also with the man advantage, Casey Jackson shooting over his head, facing away from the goal, at 4:32. Exactly one minute later, Coquitlam capitalized yet again with the manpower advantage, Dean Fairall putting the ball in from right in front. The home team added a pair to open up a 6-2 lead before Victoria found twine again. First it was Krgovich getting his second of the contest at 8:15 with a quick stick from the side of the crease. Matthew Delmonico scored at 12:47, going to the net. The Shamrocks seemed to find some of their offense as they answered back with a pair. Cody Nass tallied at 16:03 from outside the dotted line. Jackson then picked up his second on the power play at 18:21 from a bad angle beside the crease. Before the period ended, Coquitlam managed one more – this one a true buzzer beater at 19:59 from Vinny Ricci with the goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker. After 40 minutes it was Coquitlam holding a 7-4 lead.
Just two goals were scored in the final 20 minutes, both from the Shamrocks. At 12:22 team captain Corey Small found the back of the net with a hard shot from outside the dotted line and he added his second of the game at 17:29 on the power play but that was as close as they would come. Shots on goal were 41-36 in Victoria’s favour but this was clearly not the same Victoria team fans saw in the first few games. Give Coquitlam credit for throwing a tight defensive net over the visitors but the score was a little flattering to the boys in green.
Corey Small and Casey Jackson led the Shamrocks’ offense with a pair of goals each and 1 and 2 assists respectively. Mike Triolo and Cody Nass had singles and each added a pair of helpers. The Rocks will stay on the mainland overnight and face off against the Maple Ridge Burrards Sunday. Next home game will be next Friday, June 16 when they will host the New Westminster Salmonbellies in a 7:00 pm start at the Q Centre.