Maple Ridge – It was one that many lacrosse fans had circled on their calendars since the WLA schedule was released back in February. The Victoria Shamrocks made their first visit to Cam Neely Arena since last year’s playoffs.
The hosts got on the board first as Mike Mallory opened the scoring, and scored Maple Ridge’s first three goals. Victoria responded every time, and quickly, answering Maple Ridges second and third goals in fifteen and twenty seconds. Casey Jackson scored Victoria’s first goal, and a pair of Rock’s that did not play last night in Rhys Duch and Chris Wardle scored goals two and three in their returns to the lineup. The teams continued to trade goals as Owen Barker gave the Burrards the lead before Victoria scored three straight in the final four minutes of the period to jump out to a 6-4 lead as the teams headed to the rooms after twenty minutes. Jackson scored his second of the night in that run, Mike Triolo potted his sixth of the season on a breakaway feed from Cody Hagedorn, and defender Jon Harnett tallied his first of the season as he walked into a shot alone at the top of the twenty-four-foot line.
Victoria extended the lead early in the second as Corey Small got into the fun with his twelfth of the campaign. The Rocks run continued as they scored two more in a row, with Wardle and Duch each potting their second of the night. Owen Barker stopped the Victoria run with a pair of goals sandwiched around Corey Small’s second of the game. The Rocks lead 10-6 after forty minutes.
Rhys Duch finished his hat trick early in the third period, putting Victoria up 11-6. Maple Ridge then scored a pair to trim the deficit to three. Casey Jackson added insurance with under five minutes left with his third of the night putting the game out of reach. The Burrards scored twice in the final two minutes but it wasn’t enough as Victoria won the battle of the two top teams in the league 12-10.
Cody Hagedorn picked up his fifth win of the season stopping forty of fifty shots in the Victoria net. Casey Jackson and Rhys Duch had hat tricks while Corey Small scored twice. Victoria’s 5-1 start puts them two wins up on both Maple Ridge and Nanaimo in the league standings.
Victoria returns home next Friday to take on the New Westminster, who Victoria defeated 5-4 on the road two weeks ago. It’s also Mascot Madness Night presented by Peninsula Co-op. All of Rocky the Racoon’s friends will be at The Q Centre June 16th as the Rocks look to remain perfect at home and move to 6-1 on the season.