It was a battle between the two WLA teams wearing green Friday as the Shamrocks travelled to the Copeland Arena in Burnaby to take on the Lakers. This was a match-up of the teams that faced each other in round 1 of last season’s playoffs and it was the Lakers tying the 2018 season series with a 13-10 win.
Adam Shute got his second straight start in goal for the Rocks while Zak Boychuk stood between the pipes for the home team. Victoria got the scoring started at 1:33, Chris Wardle going to the net to beat Boychuk but Burnaby got that one back on the power play at 5:26, Eli McLaughlin with a quick stick from the side of the crease. The Lakers took the lead with Dane Stevens’ goal at 6:04 scoring from a weird angle, almost behind the goal line. The Rocks tied things up at 9:26, Alec Molander with a bullet from outside the dotted line. McLaughlin regained the lead for Burnaby with his second of the game at 12:02 with a quick stick in close but before the period ended, Wardle picked up his second of the game for Victoria at 18:42 again with a quick stick in close. Shots on goal were 14-10 for Burnaby but the teams were deadlocked at 3 after the first 20 minutes.
The Rocks took the lead early in period 2, Casey Jackson with a hard, low shot from the dotted line at 1:05 and increased the lead to a pair of goals with Tyson Gibson’s goal at 3:02, cutting inside. Burnaby took away that momentum with a 4-goal run beginning at 4:19 with McLaughlin’s power play goal on a bullet from outside the dotted line. They tied the score at 5 at 6:42, Robert Church getting in close. Stevens picked up his second of the game at 7:01 with a quick stick from the side although the referees did need to have some discussion as to whether it was a goal or not. At 7:38, Brine Rice gave the Lakers a 2-goal lead, intercepting Shute’s outlet pass and getting in close. Cody Hagedorn was given the nod and replaced Shute in the Victoria goal. Jesse King got the Rocks within a goal at 10:24 with a shot to the top corner but Burnaby added 2 more, the first from McLaughlin, his 4th of the night, going to the net and the second on a breakaway at 16:03 off the stick of Shaun Dhaliwal. Before the period ended, Wardle picked up his hat trick marker, getting in close to put the ball over the goaltender at 17:42. Again the Lakers held the edge in shots 19-17 and they were up 9-7 on the board.
Victoria scored first in the final frame, Jackson getting his second at the 39-second mark with a bullet late in the 30-second clock. For the most part, Burnaby owned the rest of the period, capitalizing on loose balls. Joel Matthews regained the 2-goal lead at 4:00 and Stevens picked up his hat trick goal at 4:57 from inside the dotted line. Jackson added a third goal of the game for the Shamrocks at 8:01, fighting off a check to get in close but Burnaby replied with 2 more, the first from Tristan Rai at 11:43, getting a 2-on-1 break on transition and the second from Adam Perroni into an empty net as Hagedorn was unable to get back in after being pulled for an extra attacker. With just 3 ticks left on the clock Casey Jackson added a fourth for the Rocks with a hard, low shot but too little too late for the Rocks.
Casey Jackson led Victoria’s offense with 4 goals and 1 helper and was named the game’s third star. Chris Wardle added 3 goals and 3 assists. Tyson Gibson and Jesse King each had a goal and 5 and 4 assists respectively while Alec Molander had the other Victoria goal.
For the Lakers it was Dane Stevens contributing 3 goals and 4 assists to earn first star honours and Eli McLaughlin a 5-poing night with 4 goals and 1 helper to be named second star.
The result leaves the Shamrocks in third place in the standings, 1 point behind the second place Maple Ridge Burrards and just 2 points ahead of the Lakers. Next up for the Shamrocks is an all-island match-up as the Nanaimo Timbermen come into the Q Centre Friday, June 29 for the third game between the 2 teams, with each team having 1 win to date. Game time is 7:30 pm.