SHAMROCKS TIE MANN CUP WITH DOUBLE OT WIN!
TIMES COLONIST - Sunday, Sept 7
By: Mario Annicchiarico
Victoria Shamrocks battled back from a 3-1 deficit to close out a thrilling 6-5 sudden-death overtime win over the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 2 of the Mann Cup championship on Saturday night.
Chris Wardleâ€™s second goal of the game, at 2:32 of the second extra session, gave the visitors the victory and ties the best-of-seven series against the defending champion Chiefs at 1-1 in the Canadian Senior A lacrosse championship.
Both teams will use todayâ€™s off day to recover after a tense Game 2 at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville, Ont. Game 3 goes Monday at 5 p.m. with Game 4 on Tuesday.
â€œThat was something else,â€ said elated Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes. â€œIt was just a phenomenal game.
â€œDefensively, we were outstanding. We shut them down for so long and thatâ€™s a great team we beat. Flinner [goalie Matt Flindell] was awesome and the defence gutted it out. I couldnâ€™t be happier for this bunch,â€ added Heyes, whose team allowed just one goal over a 43:32 stretch after falling behind 3-1.
Victoria was just six seconds away from a regulation-time win when Colin Doyle threw a no-look pass to Craig Point, who tied it up at 4-4 to force the extra, full-length, first 10-minute OT session.
The teams then traded goals with Doyle providing the Chiefs with their fifth. Corey Small tied it with 31 seconds remaining in overtime with an extra attacker. After a 10-minute intermission, the teams came out to play the first-goal wins period in the second OT.
Wardle now has three goals in two games to lead the Shamrocks in scoring. Small, with a pair, Rhys Duch and Karsen Leung added one each for Victoria on Saturday.
Doyle and Point had two goals each for the Chiefs, while Kasey Beirnes had the other as Six Nations held period leads of 3-1 and 3-2 after the first two frames.
Brandon Miller continues to be solid in goal for the Chiefs, stopping 40 shots in Game 2 after Friday's 7-4 win, but he was equalled, if not outshone, on Saturday by Flindell's 36 stops for the Shamrocks.
â€œYou donâ€™t want to go down two games. Weâ€™ve won one, but we still have a lot to overcome,â€ said Heyes, whose team is battling through injury, playing without Dhane Smith in Game 2 after he took a punch square in the jaw from Mike McNamara in Game 1. Veteran Derek Lowe and call-up Jordan Cunningham came in for Victoria on Saturday.
Still, the Shamrocks could use some more scoring as they have tallied just 10 times in the two games on Miller in a defensive-minded series between two gritty teams.
â€œThere are a lot of guys on that team Iâ€™ve never seen before,â€ Miller told reporters after Game 1. â€œSome [goaltenders] like to do research on guys, but I like to just see the ball and react. Thatâ€™s what I did. Not knowing their tendencies helped.â€
Miller also plays behind a steady, physical defence that doesnâ€™t allow too many chances, much like Flindell and the Shamrocks.