Island Derby Concludes in Nanaimo
With the Shamrocks officially on the back half of their schedule, each matchup will take on greater importance. Look no further than tonight's clash in Nanaimo as an example of that.
The Shamrocks (6-4-0) head to Nanaimo to take on the Timbermen (7-2-0) in a key WLA matchup for more than one reason. With just 4 of the 7 WLA clubs making the playoffs, points are always at a premium. Winning a season series against an opponent could be even more crucial as that's the first tie-breaker used to break a deadlock. The season series is exactly what's at stake tonight as each club has won in the other club's building this season.
The Timbermen spoiled the Shamrocks home opener all the way back on May 24th with an 11-6 win. Two weeks later the Shamrocks returned the favour with a 12-9 win in Nanaimo. For the Shamrocks, that was their first win of the season. They really haven't looked back since, posting a 6-1 record since their tough start to the campaign.
Nanaimo has been rolling themselves. Boasting the WLA's best winning percentage at .778 the Timbermen have shown they're for real this season. Jon Phillips and Colton Clark lead an offence that is producing over 10 goals per game this season, while goaltender Charles Claxton has given opposition fits. Look no further than the season opener for the two clubs when Claxton was sensational against the Shamrocks earning first star honours at the Q Centre making 40 saves.
Connor Robinson makes his Shamrocks debut tonight and will instantly add firepower to the Shamrocks attack. Robinson has posted 17 goals and 24 assists in 11 games with the Thunder this season.
The weekend doesn't get any easier for the Shamrocks after tonight. Tomorrow they head to Burnaby to take on the 8-3-0 Lakers. Safe to say the Shamrocks are hoping to keep their momentum moving forward and put a dent in the confidence of two front runners in the WLA standings.