The Victoria Shamrocks went 2-for-2 on the weekend, picking up a second victory Sunday on the road against the Maple Ridge Burrards, winning a low-scoring battle by a 7-6 score. That came on the heels of a home win Friday against the Langley Thunder.
Adam Shute got the start in goal for the Shamrocks Sunday as he faced Frankie Scigliano between the pipes for Maple Ridge. It was the Burrards scoring first, Mike Mallory unassisted at 9:58 off a ball bouncing around in front of Shute. Victoria tied the score at 10:22, Jesse King tallying from outside the dotted line. They took the lead at 18:38 on a power play goal from Rob Hellyer on a quick stick from the dotted line. That was all the scoring in the opening frame, the Shamrocks having the edge in shots on goal 20-16 and taking a 2-1 lead into the dressing room.
Special teams featured prominently in the middle period, 5 goals coming on power plays and the other shorthanded. Victoria extended their lead at 1:17, Tyson Gibson capitalizing on a power play with a quick stick from the side of the crease. Casey Jackson made it 4-1 Shamrocks at 2:30, also with the man advantage with a sidearm shot from the dotted line. The Burrards responded with a power play goal of their own at 6:31, Owen Barker scoring off a rebound. Just 18 seconds later, Gibson picked up his second for the Rocks, this one coming shorthanded on a run to the net. Maple Ridge picked up 2 more power play goals before the period ended, Chase McIntyre scoring at 7:23 and Mallory picking up his second at 9:30. The second half of the period was scoreless, sending the Shamrocks to the intermission with a 5-4 lead.
The home team tied the score at the 3:56 mark of the final period, Ryan Martel getting in close. Victoria’s Gibson picked up his hat trick goal at 4:46, again going to the net but Maple Ridge got that one back at 6:11, McIntyre picking up his second on a transition run, beating Shute 5-hole. Things turned into a bit of a penalty period after that but surprisingly goals were scarce until Gibson collected his 4th goal of the game for the Shamrocks at 17:13, turning around in front and shooting, that goal coming with the teams playing 4-on-4.
Tyson Gibson led Victoria’s offense with 4 goals and yet was not named a game star. First star honours went to Rob Hellyer with a goal and 4 assists. Casey Jackson contributed a goal and 3 helpers while Jesse King had a goal and 2 assists before being banished to the penalty box for the final 6 minutes of the game with a misconduct. Adam Shute stopped 34 of 40 shots to be named the game’s third star.
In other Sunday action the Nanaimo Timbermen also made it 2-for-2, defeating the league-leading New Westminster Salmonbellies 11-9. They had defeated the Langley Thunder Saturday 12-10.
Those results create a logjam atop the standings of the WLA with New Westminster and Maple Ridge tied for first with 18 points, New West holding a game in hand. The Shamrocks sit 2 points behind and Nanaimo has put a bit of space between them and the 5th place Burnaby Lakers, the Timbermen with 14 points and Burnaby with 11. Langley with 9 points and Coquitlam with 4 round out the standings.
Next up for the Shamrocks is a road game next Friday, July 13 in Burnaby while Rock the Shores takes over the Q Centre and fields. They will then tackle Langley on the road Wednesday, July 18 before returning to the Q Centre on Friday, July 20 to take on Maple Ridge in the final match-up of those 2 teams. Game time is 7:00 pm.