'Rocks take Stranglehold in WLA Final

11889970_926503800749851_7174944424270820201_oVICTORIA 15 - NEW WESTMINSTER 9

(Shamrocks lead series 3-0) -  BOXSCORE

The Victoria Shamrocks are one win away from a third straight trip to the Mann Cup.

Minus Rory Smith, who blocked a shot late in Game 2, the Shamrocks still clamped down for a 15-9 win over the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Wednesday night to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Western Lacrosse Association final.

The green and white will be looking for its third straight league championship on Friday night in New Westminster. That’s now seven straight victories in the post-season and nine overall.

Daryl Veltman led the way with four goals while Mitch Jones added three. Karsen Leung was solid with two goals and two assists.

“Karsen was unbelievable tonight, the goals he got and the work ethic, and for Daryl to pot those four goals when the other guys are being swamped was important. The others guys are picking it up and that’s the depth we’ve got,” said Shamrocks assistant coach Dave Lowdon, who expects a battle on Friday.

“They’re a very good team with a lot of history and a lot of pride and they will be a force on Friday night. We need to be prepared to match. They will not go away.”

For the second straight game it was offensive production from secondary sources that lifted the Shamrocks. Leung managed to scoop up a loose ball and dunk it in behind New West goalie Eric Penney for his first in the opening period as the hosts led 4-1.

They were also up 9-5 going into the third as Veltman bagged his second of the game at 19:55 of the middle frame as the Shamrocks used a timeout to their advantage.

Captain Scott Ranger continues to carry a hot hand for Victoria with two more goals. Cory Conway and Corey Small each had a goal. Tyler Hass used his long legs to gallop in for a goal and Dan MacRae ran the entire length of the floor to tally in his second straight game. Dan Dawson had six assists.

Keegan Bal had three for New West, while Jordan McBride had two goals. Logan Schuss, Shane MacDonald and Josh Byrne also scored. Byrne had the prettiest goal of the night, a one-hander from behind his back just 53 seconds into the third period.

Aaron Bold made 32 saves for Victoria. Penney stopped 23, but was pulled for the third and Alexis Buque made just eight saves.

Smith sat out and Ethan Garland came in. Jesse King, Bradley Kri and Greg Harnett remained out of the Victoria lineup.

CLOVER POINTS: The opening date of the Mann Cup is set for Sept. 4. The series would continue Sept. 5, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12. The two-time defending national champion Six Nations Chiefs are down 1-0 to the Peterborough Lakers after a 6-4 loss on Tuesday. Game 2 of that best-of-seven goes tonight.

Article published by TIMES COLONIST - Aug 20, 2015 - by Mario Annicchiarico