It was a lucky Friday 13th for the Victoria Shamrocks as they took over second place in the WLA standings with an 11-9 road win against the Burnaby Lakers. It also puts them on a 3-game winning streak. The game was tight throughout with the score tied 3-3 after the first, Victoria ahead 7-5 after 2 but falling behind 8-7 early in the third before taking the win.
Starting in goal for the Shamrocks was Adam Shute while his counterpart was Zak Boychuk and the Lakers took the lead just 28 seconds in when Dane Stevens scored on a hard shot from outside the dotted line. Rob Hellyer got the tying goal for the Rocks at 2:16 also from outside the dotted line. The teams traded goals once again, Adam Perroni with an unassisted tally at 8:04. Victoria tied the score at 11:24, defender Zac Christianson going on a breakaway, that goal coming shorthanded. The Rocks took the lead at 13:20, Tyson Gibson scoring on the power play from the slot. With less than a minute left in the period, Burnaby’s Eli McLaughlin got the score knotted at 3 from the dotted line. Victoria led in shots on goal 20-13 but the score was tied at 3 with 40 minutes left to go.
The home team again got the early lead in period 2, Stevens picking up his second at 1:16 with a quick stick on the run and they extended the lead to 2 goals with Brine Rice’s goal at 1:50 from the dotted line late in the 30-second clock. Cody Hagedorn came in briefly for Victoria starting goaltender Shute but Shute returned about a minute later. Another Shamrocks defender, and rookie, Danny Smith pulled the visitors within a goal at 3:41, stealing the ball and going in alone to score unassisted. That started a 4-goal run for the Rocks as Casey Jackson scored at 9:54 with a quick stick in close. Jesse King picked up another at 15:46 from outside the dotted line and at 16:55, Hellyer collected his second of the game, on the power play with a quick stick from the dotted line. That was how the period ended with the Shamrocks up 7-5 and leading in shots 36-24.
Somehow the Shamrocks failed to keep the momentum going, Burnaby once again scoring early and going on a 3-goal run to take the lead once again. It was McLaughlin picking up his second of the game just 58 seconds in from outside the dotted line to pull the Lakers within a goal. Scott Jones got the tying goal at 1:31 from just inside the dotted line and Rice picked up his second at 2:32 in close to take an 8-7 lead. Victoria replied at 4:08, Josh Fagan finding twine with a hard shot to the top corner from outside the dotted line. That held for a little over 4 minutes before McLaughlin got his hat trick goal at 8:56, going to the net to give Burnaby a 9-8 lead. The Lakers got into a bit of penalty trouble and Victoria’s offense made them pay as Hellyer picked up his hat trick goal on the power play at 12:25, stepping into a shot from the dotted line. Jackson followed up with his second for the Shamrocks, also with the man advantage, cutting to the net to beat Boychuk at 14:10. Gibson added an insurance marker, also his second of the game at 15:13 with a quick stick in close. Burnaby tried to come back, pulling the goaltender for the extra attacker but to no avail as Victoria’s defense and Shute held them off the scoreboard. The win gives Victoria the edge in the season series between the two teams but, more importantly, moves them into second place. Although tied with Maple Ridge in points with 18, the Shamrocks hold a game in hand. Both are just 2 points behind the league-leading New Westminster Salmonbellies. Nanaimo sits in the fourth and final playoff spot with 14 points, Burnaby a point behind and those two teams will face each other Saturday in Nanaimo. It will be a race to the finish for playoff spots.
Leading Victoria’s offense was Rob Hellyer with the hat trick and 5 assists while Jesse King had a goal and 5 helpers. They were named first and third stars respectively. Casey Jackson and Tyson Gibson had a pair of goals each with 3 and 1 assist respectively. Singles came from Josh Fagan and rookies Danny Smith and Zac Christianson.
For the Lakers it was Scott Jones with a goal and 6 assists to earn second star honours. Eli McLaughlin chipped in 3 goals and 1 helper and both Brine Rice and Dane Stevens had a pair of goals and an assist.
Next action for the Shamrocks is the third of 3 road games as they visit the Langley Thunder next Wednesday before returning to the Q Centre Friday, July 20 to face the Maple Ridge Burrards. That will be a 7:30 pm start.