It’s game day for the Victoria Shamrocks who will trek to the Lower Mainland to take on the Langley Thunder. This will be the third encounter between the two teams. In the last face-off, on July 6th, the ‘Rocks took down the Thunder 13-11. Victoria doubled up Langley 14-7 in their own arena first matchup of the season back in early June.
For Victoria, they are in the driver’s seat on their road to the playoffs. Should the Shamrocks win out the rest of their regular season games, they will be sitting in first place for the start of the WLA Playoffs. A win tonight would put the Shamrocks just two points behind the New Westminster Salmonbellies for first place. This would also mean four straight victories for Victoria giving them significant momentum going into their matchup against the Maple Ridge Burrards this Friday night.
Langley has been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race. They will, however, be looking to make some noise and influence the playoff seeding with this game being the final regular season home game for the Thunder. A player to watch out for from Langley is electrifying forward Tyler Pace. Pace has 54 points and has played in all 15 games for the Thunder this season. If you’re anticipating any offensive action from the Thunder keep your eyes glued on Pace. He is an extraordinary player to watch. Pace has only had one game this season in which he didn’t score multiple points.
Langley’s biggest weakness all season has been their goals allowed. They average nearly 11.5 goals against per game – which is the highest in the league. Their goals per game are right in line with the league average with 9 being the standard for the Thunder. If they are to have a chance of winning they need to tighten up their defensive efforts.
Shamrocks fans can look out for Rob Hellyer. Hellyer scored 3 goals and had 8 points last Friday against Burnaby. Hellyer has 31 points in 7 games since joining the Shamrocks earlier this season. He is also 1 goal away from getting to 10 total goals on the season. If he manages to get another goal tonight, which is likely, he will be the sixth Shamrock this season to score 10 goals.