Shamrocks Take Game #1 - lead best of 7!

(Victoria leads series 1-0)

The Victoria Shamrocks drew first blood in the opening game of the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs and it was Cory Conway who stuck most of the needles in the Maple Ridge Burrards.

Conway recorded two goals and a whopping eight assists for a 10-point night as the Shamrocks dumped the Burrards 13-9 at The Q Centre on Monday. Game 2 goes Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Maple Ridge.

“I didn’t realize it was that many,” Conway said of his performance. “We were capitalizing on our scoring chances. We’re so good offensively and so unselfish. Everybody on offence touches the ball and we’re happy with the way we played. It was obviously nice to transition into the playoffs with a win.”

Conway was spectacular and he benefited early from a wild hop that was initially thwarted. But as they say, they don’t ask how, just how many.

“I got a lucky one early,” he said of the goal. “It took a funny bounce and went in the net and sometimes that’s all you need to get the confidence going.”

Corey Small added four goals and two assists while Rhys Duch tallied three times. Jesse King had a goal and four helpers, while Scott Ranger, Karsen Leung and Chris Wardle rounded out Victoria’s scoring.

The team jumped to a 5-1 lead just 5:50 in, but failed to score again in the opening period as the Burrards battled back to tie it 5-5.

The Shamrocks settled down from that point on, although it was tied 7-7 6:23 into the second after Victoria went up 7-5. The hosts led 10-7 after two.

“We need to realize these guys are a very good team. We know it’s going to be a battle,” said Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes.

“I like how we answered in the second period and I think that was the key for us — that and staying away from the extracurricular activity. They are a team that wants to get under your skin and do stuff. That’s always been their team style. We just have to be able to suck it up.”

Jarrett Davis and Riley Loewen each had two goals and two assists for Maple Ridge, while Dan Taylor had a goal and four assists. Mike Mallory, Ben McIntosh, Coady Adamson and Andrew Murphy also scored.

“The boys could have packed it in and we didn’t. They showed some heart and character. We said coming into it that they are a good team and they’re going to score goals. We just have to accept it and battle back the next shift,” said Burrards head coach Chris Gill, who then went off on the officiating.

“Sometimes it’s hard when you’re playing against more than just players. That’s the life of coming across the water to Victoria,” stressed Gill, who wasn’t happy with a double-minor call on Steve Priolo that could have resulted in more as he ripped Kevin Reid’s helmet off and popped him a few times.

Reid, who was taking some liberties, chose not to defend himself and was not penalized.

“That’s a two-minute and five-minute penalty and most likely kicked out of the game if it’s one of our players doing it to them, but they didn’t have the guts to make the call in front of the crowd,” added Gill.

CLOVER POINTS: The Intermediate Shamrocks took home a provincial title on Monday, defeating New Westminster 14-7 in the championship game at George Preston Rec Centre in Langley. The Shamrocks lost their opener 9-7 to Coquitlam before recording 9-4 and 18-7 victories over New West and Langley, respectively.



GAME 2 Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. at
Maple Ridge
GAME 3 Saturday, 5 p.m. at Victoria GAME 4 Aug. 9, 5 p.m. at Maple Ridge GAME 5 Aug. 12, 6:30 p.m. at Victoria * GAME 6 Aug. 15, 5 p.m. at Maple
Ridge *
GAME 7 Aug. 16, 5 p.m. at Victoria *
*If necessary