If anyone thought either the Maple Ridge Burrards or the Victoria Shamrocks were going to sweep the WLA final, fasten your seat belts – it could be a long series as the Burrards won game 2 at home, 9-8 to tie the series.
Both teams stuck to their game 1 starting goaltenders, Adam Shute for the Rocks and Frankie Scigliano for the Burrards. Victoria opened the scoring, Tyson Gibson tallying just 1:18 into the opening frame with a quick stick late in the 30-second shot clock. It took just 41 seconds for Maple Ridge to tie the score, Jean-Luc Chetner scoring unassisted as he was unchallenged by the defense. The home team took the lead at 2:12, Curtis Dickson getting in close. The Shamrocks replied at 8:19, Rob Hellyer finishing off a give-and-go on a transition break. The teams traded goals to end the period, Ben McIntosh scoring for the Burrards unassisted at 11:59 with a spin around shot on which Shute was likely screened. Victoria fought back with Hellyer’s second goal of the game at 18:33, another goal coming off some great transition speed with Matt Yager and Shute picking up the assists. That was how the period ended, with the teams deadlocked at 3 and shots on goal 18-16 in favour of the Burrards.
The second period opened with the Shamrocks on a 5-minute power play, as Maple Ridge’s captain Tyler Codron took a major late in the first period. Instead of the Rocks taking advantage, the Burrards actually scored a couple of shorthanded markers to open up a 2-goal lead. Dickson picked up his second of the contest, taking a pass on the run at 1:36 and Jeff Cornwall added another 10 seconds later off the ensuing faceoff. Victoria did manage to get one back on the power play, Gibson scoring his 2nd at 2:55, finishing off some quick passes from the dotted line. The teams played scoreless for most of the rest of the period until Chetner picked up his second of the game at 16:21 with a quick stick after a Maple Ridge penalty kill. That gave the home team a 6-4 lead heading into the dressing room after 40 minutes.
The Shamrocks pulled within a goal 5:46 into the final frame, Brad McCulley getting in close with a quick stick after a successful penalty kill after Greg Harnett took a double minor late in the second period. Chetner picked up his hat trick goal at 7:41 on a weird goal that occurred when Victoria goaltender Shute either thought he had a whistle or wanted a whistle that he didn’t get and tossed the ball right into Chetner’s stick. In any event that regained the 2-goal lead for the home team. Fortunately, the Shamrocks battled back with the next 2 goals to tie the game. First it was Hellyer getting his hat trick marker at 12:55, going to the net on transition then Jesse King notched a goal from his wrong side over Scigliano’s shoulder at 13:18. That held up for a very short time as Dan Taylor regained the lead for the Burrards at 14:38 with a behind-the-back shot and Dickson got his hat trick goal to extend the lead to 2 goals at 17:18 from just inside the dotted line. With time running out and Victoria’s goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker the Rocks drew within a goal when Rhys Duch connected on a bullet at 19:28 but it was too little too late as they were unable to get the equalizer.
Rob Hellyer was Victoria’s top scorer with 3 goals and 4 assists to be named the second star. Tyson Gibson added a pair with singles coming from Rhys Duch, Jesse King and Brad McCulley.
‘Superman’ Curtis Dickson led the Burrards with the hat trick and 2 assists while Jean-Luc Chetner also had the hat trick as they picked up first and third star honours respectively.
Game 3 goes Tuesday night at 6:30 pm at the Q Centre and we now know that there will also be a game 5 Saturday, August 25 at the Q at 6:30 with game 4 sandwiched between in Maple Ridge on Thursday, August 23