'Rocks Take Island Rivalry Night



So much for slow starts.

The Victoria Shamrocks got off to a quick 5-0 lead in the first six minutes on the Nanaimo Timbermen and then cruised to victory in Western Lacrosse Association play Tuesday night at Frank Crane Arena.

Rhys Duch scored twice and Tyler Burton, Scott Ranger and Jesse King also tallied for the Shamrock as they built up the quick advantage, unlike the sluggish start in Friday’s 13-11 loss to Coquitlam.

The net result Tuesday was a 13-10 road victory for the Shamrocks, who improve to 12-3, while the Timbermen continue to struggle at 2-11. Their two wins both came against Victoria to start the season by way of an 8-6 result on the road and 12-9 overtime win in Nanaimo the first time around.

“It was a much better start,” said Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes. “Had we kept that pace up, like the first five minutes, it could have been ugly.

“The start was something I wanted them to get up and ready for. We set a positive tone for the rest of the game.”

The Timbermen did cut the lead to 5-3 on goals from Eli McLaughlin, Mac Johnston and Randy Jones before Duch recorded his natural hat-trick with one second to go in the first. Duch had tallied the fourth and fifth Victoria goals as the visitors took a 6-3 lead into the first intermission.

Nanaimo cut it to 9-7 after 40 minutes of play.

Duch finished with three goals and two assists for Victoria. Ranger and King each had a pair of goals and two helpers while Greg Harnett, Mitch Jones, Chris Wardle, Karsen Leung and Corey Small added singles. Small also had four assists.

McLaughlin finished with three goals for the Timbermen, while Conrad Chapman, Cayle Ratcliff, Brody Eastwood and Cody Bremner also tallied for Nanaimo.

Cody Hagedorn earned the win in goal for Victoria, while the Shamrocks chased starter Zak Boychuk from the net early, with Peter Dubenski replacing him. Victoria out-shot Nanaimo 51-34.

The Shamrocks are now off until a week from Thursday when they travel to New Westminster to face the Salmonbellies and then return home the next night to entertain the Burnaby Lakers.

“We still need to fix some of the intricate parts of our game,” said Heyes. “We’re still throwing the ball away at times and taking too many penalties.”