Shamrocks defend home floor, take 3-1 series lead vs Burnaby
Burnaby Lakers 10 at Victoria Shamrocks 12 game 4 recap
Victoria leads WLA Semi-Final series 3-1
Written by Justis Doucet
Victoria returned home to The Q Centre where the Shamrocks Nation cheered them onto a 3-1 series lead over the top seeded Lakers on Wednesday. Victoria rode a six goal run between the first and second periods to a 12-10 victory.
Robert Church scored thirty-eight seconds in as Burnaby jumped ahead, the Lakers would add another but Victoria responded. In a span of three minutes and ten seconds the ‘Rocks scored three times to take a 3-2 lead. Joe Resetarits got Victoria on the board at 11:16 with his fourth of the playoffs before Steve Priolo tied the game just over ninety seconds later. The Shamrocks took the lead on a short handed goal from Chris Wardle, who broke right down main street for his second of the post season.
The Shamrocks kept the pressure on in the second, scoring nine seconds apart to turn a 3-2 lead into a 5-2 lead. Casey Jackson buried his sixth of the playoffs before Sheldon Burns tallied his fourth, most amount by Shamrocks defenders, sending the Q Centre into a frenzy. Victoria netted another three minutes later on Joe Resetarits second of the game, the Shamrocks sixth straight in the game. Burnaby ended the run with three straight goals, cutting it to 6-5. Mike Triolo found the back of the net on a bounce shot for his first of the playoffs making it 7-5. Burnaby’s Josh Byrne then scored a pair of goals fourteen seconds apart, one five on five, the other on the power play, tying the game at seven.
The Lakers pulled ahead to start the third, but Victoria rattled off three straight goals to take a 10-8 lead. Evan Messenger tied the game before Jackson and Small gave the Shamrocks the lead. Church scored his hat trick goal to pull Burnaby within one with under five minutes to go. A minute later Resetarits scored his third to give Victoria some insurance at 11-9. Burnaby pulled goalie Eric Penney with two minutes remaining and Church found the back of the net again, bringing the Lakers to within one with just 1:12 left. Steve Priolo looked to have given the ‘Rocks a 12-10 edge on a breakaway with twenty-eight seconds left, but Victoria had asked for a timeout and nobody heard the whistle. The goal was taken away but Victoria would add that twelfth goal. Junior A call-up Danny Smith was the lone man standing in the back court, ragged time off the clock before splitting a double team, going coast to coast and burying on the empty net with Victoria at a six on five disadvantage. Shamrocks Nation exploded and Victoria saluted the fans to a 12-10 win and a 3-1 series lead.
Game five is Friday back in Burnaby, where the Shamrocks can punch their ticket to the WLA Finals. Steve Priolo was named the third star for the Shamrocks, Josh Byrne of the Lakers was second star and with a hat trick and the game winner, Joe Resetarits was the games first star.
In the first intermission the Shamrocks announced defender Ben McCullough had been awarded the 2017 Campus Auto Group Shamrocks fan favourite as voted by fans throughout the season. While McCullough played in eleven games, making life difficult for opponents in every contest, his passion for the game showed even when he wasn’t able to play, cheering his teammates on from the bench and volunteering in the community. From everyone in Shamrocks Nation, congratulations Ben!
Complete game stats: http://westernlacrosse.wttstats.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=3170682
Next game (Away) (Game 5 in best of 7 series): Friday August 11th, 6pm at Bill Copeland arena. The game can also be watched at Browns Socialhouse in Langford or on Pay Per View from www.victoriashamrocks.com.