Lakers Rebound to Make Long Series

The Victoria Shamrocks can’t seem to get over the hurdle that is Game 4 of the Mann Cup championship.

For the third year in a row, the Western Lacrosse Association champions failed to take a 3-1 lead at the critical stage of the best-of-seven national lacrosse championship, this time losing the pivotal game 8-6 to the Peterborough Lakers on Tuesday night at The Q Centre.

The last two years the Shamrocks dropped 2-1 advantages, only to lose both times in six outings to the Six Nations Chiefs.

“Every championship team has a hump to get over and for us that’s the one,” said Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes. “I think we’ve got such a different club from the last two years though. We’re good; we’re still in a good position. This isn’t where it was two years ago, for sure.”

Game 5 goes tonight at 7 with plenty riding on the line in what is now a best-of-three, all knotted at two games apiece. Game 6 is Friday.

Curtis Dickson’s fourth goal of the game gave the Lakers the first two-goal lead of the outing for either team at 7:08 of the third period. Late in the second, Mark Steenhuis had provided Peterborough with its first lead of the night, trailing by one five times through the first 37:32.

“That’s a character win for us, for our team,” said Steenhuis. “We got a goal, they got a goal — they seem to have always answered, breaking through getting the lead and keeping the lead … what a fantastic third period by us, our defence. Tip our hats off to them.”

They pulled it out in a defensive tussle everyone expected after a couple of lopsided wins by both sides in Games 2 and 3.“We had those chances,” Heyes said of the five one-goal leads the Shamrocks couldn’t extend to two. “Every time you don’t capitalize on those chances, it gives another breath of life to the opposition and that’s what we did. We had a chance to step on the throat or take your foot off. Not that we wanted to, but we didn’t execute and our offence has to get better.”

Dan Dawson, who had a goal and an assist, agreed fully.

“That’s a missed opportunity, but listen, we have to regroup,” he stressed. “We have to have a short memory because we’re back [tonight]. Our defence and our goalie gave us a chance to win and our offence let us down, especially our power play, so that one is on the offence tonight.”

Brad Self added two goals for the Lakers, the last one into an empty net after he swallowed up Jesse King’s errant pass with goalie Aaron Bold pulled. Steenhuis and Scott Evans also scored for Peterborough, which trailed 3-2 after one period, but led 6-5 after two.

King had two goals for Victoria, while Rhys Duch, Greg Harnett and Scott Ranger had the others.

The Shamrocks outshot the Lakers 40-30 with Matt Vinc making 34 saves.

Game 4 is now gone and the team that claims Game 4 has won 27 of the last 35 Mann Cups.

MANN CUP TICKETS #6 ON SALE NOW! - Buy at Q Centre Box Office - or online : - STARTING AT 10AM

As published - Times Colonist - Sept 9th, 2015

By: [email protected]

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