It was game 2 in the season series for the Shamrocks and Timbermen Sunday at the Q Centre. After dropping game 1 in the Hub City the Rocks rebounded in a big way to even the series with a 13-5 victory.
The Shamrocks gave Cody Hagedorn the start between the pipes while Nanaimo opted to go with former Jr. Shamrock Charles Claxton.It was Nanaimo that got the early lead, Jon Phillips going to the net and scoring at 7:32 on the power play. Victoria replied with its own power play marker, Tyson Gibson scoring at 9:29 from outside the dotted line. The teams again traded goals, Adam Jay tallying for the T’Men at 10:12 getting in close but Dallas Wade notched the score for the Rocks just 12 seconds later with a quick stick right in front. Victoria took the lead on Casey Jackson’s low shot in close at 12:52 and a power play goal from Rhys Duch made it 4-2 for the boys in green at 14:59.That was Duch’s first goal of the season which seems an odd thing to be saying 5 games in. Nanaimo got one back, also with the man advantage, Phillips getting his second at 16:45 with a hard shot from outside the dotted line but Jesse King restored the Rocks’ 2-goal lead at 18:38 with a shorthanded marker. Before the period ended, in fact just 5 seconds before the period ended, Phillips picked up his hat trick marker for the visitors, making the score 5-4 for Victoria heading into the first intermission. That goal would be the last goal Nanaimo scored until 15:25 of period 3, Hagedorn was brilliant in goal.
The second period was all Victoria as the Shamrocks scored 5 goals, all on special teams with 4 power play goals and 1 shortie. It started with Chris Wardle’s power play marker at 6:55 as he got inside to beat Claxton. Jackson then picked up his second of the game, also with the man advantage from the dotted line. Big Steve Priolo got on a run and scored a shorthanded goal at 15:20 and Jackson’s power play marker at 17:23, just 12 seconds into the man advantage made it 9-3 and that was the end of Claxton’s night as he was replaced by Mike diGirolamo. Duch did not play favourites and beat him with Victoria’s 10th goal, another power play marker, at 18:13. That was how the second period ended, Victoria up on the scoreboard by a 10-3 margin and outshooting the Timbermen by 41-32.
The Rocks added 3 more in the final period before Nanaimo had a reply. First it was Wardle picking up his second from the centre dotted line with the teams playing 4-on-4. Dallas Wade added his second on a run, at 9:01, using his transition speed to get up the floor on the power play.Duch added his hat trick marker at 10:40 from outside the dotted line. Nanaimo managed one more and it was Jon Phillips getting his fourth of the game at 15:25, cutting to the net. Victoria gave Hagedorn a rest for the final 4:35, Cody Cook coming in to relieve him and not allowing a goal.
Casey Jackson, with 3 goals and 3 assists; Rhys Duch with 3 goals and 4 helpers; and Jesse King with a goal and 5 assists swept the three stars. Dallas Wade picked up a pair of goals, as did Chris Wardle who also had 2 assists. Tyson Gibson and Steve Priolo also scored with Gibson chipping in 3 helpers for a 4-point night. Cody Hagedorn stopped 38 of 43 shots he faced while Cody Cook was perfect in relief stopping all 4 shots he faced.
For Nanaimo, it was Jon Phillips doing the bulk of the scoring with 4 of the 5 goals, Adam Jay picking up the other.
The result gives the Shamrocks a 3-2 record, good for third in the standings, 2 points behind second place Maple Ridge, while Nanaimo drops to 2 and 4. The Rocks are on the road Thursday to face the league-leading New Westminster Salmonbellies in Queen’s Park Arena and return to the Q Centre Friday, June 15 to take on the Maple Ridge Burrards in a 7:00 pm start. That is Alumni Night at the arena and, following a tailgate party, the Shamrocks plan to retire Kevin Alexander’s #26 jersey to join those of Whitey Severson and Ranjit Dillon hanging from the rafters.