Burnaby Lakers @ Victoria Shamrocks Game Preview, Friday May 26 @ 7:00pm, The Q Centre
Burnaby Lakers @ Victoria Shamrocks Game Preview
Presented by Westshore Dental
Friday May 26 @ 7:00pm, The Q Centre
Shamrocks look for second win with Lakers in town
Written by Justis Doucet
Victoria - One week ago tonight Victoria fans were treated to a last possession win at the Q Centre as fifth round draft pick Cody Nass finished off his seven-point night with the game-winning goal. Postgame Nass said, "he couldn't have asked for a better debut." Now he and the rest of the Shamrocks look to build off a come from behind win, in which they showed a ton of resilience. Victoria trailed 8-7 heading to the final twenty minutes and looked to their leader Corey Small, and he delivered. Goals just 3:10 apart tied it then gave Victoria the lead. After Langley tied the game, Victoria grabbed a loose ball in the offensive zone, resetting the shot clock to thirty with just twenty-one seconds left. Nass found the rebound from a Steve Higgs shot that bounced off the end wall before burying the winner with 4.8 seconds left.
It was a big night for the Shamrocks 2017 draft class with Nass collecting the seven points, including scoring on both of his two shots. Dallas Wade also chipped in his first career WLA assist on call-up Cole Pickup's breakaway goal. Matt Hamilton had two shots on goal in the win as well.
One of the biggest positives of Victoria's season opener was the dominance of the face-off circle. Myles Kenny went 15/20 in the circle as the Shamrocks won 70% of the face-offs (16/23). A big positive to move forward with, not allowing chances in quick succession, but being able to do so winning draws after scoring.
Victoria was also able to spread the scoring around with four players scoring twice. Mike Triolo stood out on the floor and not just because of his size, he showed a touch around the net while being nearly impossible to defend, Triolo showed the ability to beat defenders wide and fire a quick shot into the top corner, and impeccable ball protection skills dragging a pair of Langley defenders around the zone while killing nearly forty seconds off a power-play. Team captain Corey Small scored two huge goals in the third period, Cody Nass and Casey Jackson tallied twice as well. With Cole Pickup and Steve Higgs scoring singles.
A couple players will make their Victoria debuts, Tristan Rai came over to Victoria from Alberta along with Jake Archdekin who played last week. Rai played in the Rocky Mountain Jr 'A' Lacrosse League last season scoring 19 points in 5 games. Sheldon Burns has spent his last three summers playing for the Brooklin Redmen of the MSL, the defender scored six points last season, and was a member of the 2011 Minto Cup champion Whitby Warriors. Chris Wardle and Greg Harnett are expected to make their 2017 debuts as well. Wardle crushed his previous career highs in his 3rd WLA season, playing eighteen games and more than doubling his career high in points from 18 to 40. Harnett is entering his sixth season with Victoria and has recorded 27 points and 197 penalty minutes over 62 games.
Victoria looks to continue with the power-play success from opening night, scoring on 3/6 opportunities but hopes to improve the penalty killing, surrendering goals on 3/4 Langley man advantages.
Burnaby Lakers scouting report
Victoria already has a win in the standings but Burnaby will be taking to the floor for the first time this season. Friday night is the first of two games this weekend for Burnaby, as they visit Maple Ridge on Sunday night. Burnaby found themselves on a roller-coaster ride last season, finishing 9-8-1, but never winning two games in a row. The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs with Victoria moving on in seven games. A Player to watch for on Burnaby is Robert Church. Church lead the team in scoring last season with 53 points in 13 games, then added another 30 in seven playoff game. He finished ninth in league scoring and was voted as a 1st team WLA all-star. The Lakers also brought in Jim Milligan in the offseason to take on the roles of Head Coach and General Manager. Previously Milligan was offensive coordinator for the Peterborough Lakers from 2004-2014 and won 5 Mann Cups. Currently Milligan is also an assistant coach with the Vancouver Stealth.