Shamrocks offensive explosion ties WLA Finals at one

New Westminster Salmonbellies 5 at Victoria Shamrocks 11 Game recap

WLA Finals series tied 1-1

Written by Justis Doucet

Victoria - The Shamrocks looked to continue their home cooking against the New Westminster Salmonbellies, and even the 2017 WLA Finals at a game apiece. Captain Corey Small led the way with six points on route to an 11-5 win in front of a packed Q Centre Sunday night.

New Westminster found the games first goal just over seven minutes in on the man advantage, then added another a minute later to jump out to a 2-0 lead. The Bellies added yet another with 4:36 left and took a 3-0 lead, then Victoria flipped the switch. Cue Joe Restetarits, who put Victoria on the board with 3:41 left in the opening frame, and the floodgates opened. Evan Messenger scored fifty-seven seconds later, then Rhys Duch another thirty-eight after that and the game was tied. The Shamrocks weren’t done; Corey Small tickled the twine sixty-eight seconds later for his first, then forty-two seconds after that for his second. All in all, it was five goals in 3:25, and beating goaltender Alexis Buque on five of seven shots. Victoria clawed out of a 3-0 hole to take a 5-3 lead to the dressing room.

Victoria picked up right where they left off in the first period, lighting the lamp twice in the first two minutes, first it was Corey Small finishing off the natural hat-trick before Rhys Duch buried his second of the game. Resetarits then ripped his second of the game past Buque four and a half minutes later, making it eight straight goals for the ‘Rocks and a five-goal lead. Logan Schuss stopped the run late in the period, scoring on the power play as Victoria led 8-4 after two.

Casey Jackson restored the Shamrocks five goal lead just under two minutes into the third, but it was quickly answered by Joel McCready’s second of the game for New Westminster. Steve Priolo broke in all alone but found the trailer in Tyler Hass, who twisted it past Buque for a shorthanded goal. Sixty-one seconds later Duch scored his second as the Shamrocks took a six goal lead. The Shamrocks went on to win 11-5, led by four point nights from Rhys Duch and Joe Resetarits, and six from Corey Small, the game’s first star.

The Shamrocks have now made the WLA final a best of five, tying the series 1-1 heading back to the mainland for a pivotal game three at Queens Park Arena on Tuesday. The scene then shifts back to the BC Capital on Friday for game four and game five is back on the mainland on Sunday.

Tickets for the WLA Finals are on sale HERE, the team store located at 967 Langford Parkway, or over the phone at 250-478-7625. As a reminder, season ticket holders have their seats guaranteed until 5pm the day before the home game, after which time they are released to the general public.

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Next game (AWAY): Game 3, Tuesday August 22, 6pm at New Westminster, Queens Park Arena

Next HOME game: Game 4, Friday August 25, 6pm, at Victoria, The Q Centre.  Ticket HERE