The Victoria Shamrocks and the New Westminster Salmonbellies played to a 12-12 overtime tie Friday in front of a packed house at the Q Centre. The Rocks continue to lead the league with 11 points, with Burnaby in second with 8 points.
Aaron Bold returned to the Shamrocks for the first time since hoisting the 2015 Mann Cup and got the nod to start in goal. Alexis Buque was his counterpart at the other end of the floor. It was Victoria scoring first, Corey Small scoring at 6:40 with a hard shot from outside the dotted line that went in off the post. New Westminster replied just 11 seconds later with a bullet from outside the dotted line. The Rocks came back with a 3-goal run, starting at 10:20 with Cole Pickup’s quick stick from the side of the crease.
Casey Jackson followed up with a power play goal at 16:32 on a hard shot from outside the dotted line and Matt Hamilton made it 4-1 at 17:05, fighting off checks to get to the net. The home team ran into some penalty problems, allowing the visitors to get 2 power play goals before the period ended. At 19:14 Jakob Doucet closed the gap to 2, getting in close and at 19:41 Logan Schuss had a hard shot find the top corner. Shots on goal were 22 to 15 in New Westminster’s favour but they were down 4-3 after 20 minutes.
It didn’t take long in the middle frame for the ‘Bellies to knot the score, Zach Herreweyers shooting through traffic from the dotted line to find twine at 1:44. Victoria regained the lead at 2:16, Cody Nass tallying with a quick stick from the side of the crease and at 3:47 Greg Harnett got a shorthanded marker off a transition run. Special teams continued to play a large part in the game as New Westminster came back with a powr play goal and a shorthanded goal to tie the score at 6. Both goals came from former Shamrock Mitch Jones, the first shooting around a screen at 5:03 and the second at 8:39 from in close. The visitors kept their momentum rolling rattling off 3 more before the Shamrocks found the scoreboard again. Justin Goodwin scored at 10:46 and Herreweyers added his second of the night at 11:48 from the dotted line.
Cody Hagedorn relieved Bold in goal and New West’s Brandon Goodwin got one behind him at the 13-minute mark before Bold returned. Victoria picked up a power play goal before the period ended, Jackson picking up his second from outside the dotted line. New Westminster was holding a 44-32 edge in shots over 40 minutes and they now had the 9-7 lead as well. The second period also saw some extra-curricular activity resulting in the banishment of 2 Shamrocks and 1 Salmonbelly as Ben McCullough tangled with Mike Messenger, both being expelled. Shayne Bennett then thought it would be a good idea to take on Victoria’s Steve Priolo. The Shamrocks lost Priolo for the rest of the game but Messenger clearly lost the battle.
New West opened with the first 2 goals of the final period. Herreweyers picking up his hat trick marker at 2:21 followed by Austin Jerhoff’s power play goal at 6:217 with a quick stick from the side of the net. With a 4-goal lead, the Shamrocks mounted a comeback starting with Small’s unassisted goal and second of the game, at 8:19 from outside the dotted line. Jake Archdekin followed that up at 9:13 with another unassisted