Small’s 10 point night leads Shamrocks past Burnaby

Burnaby Lakers 6 @ Victoria Shamrocks 11 recap

Small’s 10 point night leads Shamrocks past Burnaby

Written by Justis Doucet

Victoria - There's an old sport saying "your best players have to be your best players" and Friday night for the Victoria Shamrocks, they were. Last season's top scorers traded goals all night for Victoria on route to an 11-6 win.

After that gruelling seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs last year, the teams went through a feeling out process for the first six or seven minutes. Burnaby's Scott Jones opened the scoring on a delayed penalty at 7:13 to put the visitors in front. Burnaby got their first real power play opportunity about five minutes later, Dane Stevens scored from up top to make it 2-0. Rhys Duch cut into the lead in his season debut, catching a pass from Corey Small and going behind the back to beat Burnaby net-minder Zak Boychuk. Just over two minutes later the home side was on the board again, this time with Small as the goal scorer, receiving a pass from Tristan Rai, resulting in his first WLA point. Scott Jones responded with his second of the period with 0.6 seconds left putting Burnaby up 3-2 after one. All three Burnaby goals came on a man advantage, one on the powerplay and two with the goalie pulled.

Jason Jones scored twice in the first five minutes for Burnaby giving them leads of 4-2 and 5-3. Chris Wardle scored Victoria's third marker in his 2017 debut. Victoria then went to work, scoring five straight. Duch and Small alternated tickling the twine to put Victoria up 7-5. Duch scored goals four and six, and Small had goals five and seven for Victoria, each finishing off hat tricks. Victoria collected a loose ball with twenty seconds left in the period and like opening night called timeout, and like opening night, it worked. Burnaby scored with 0.6 seconds remaining in the first, and Victoria responded with their own with 0.8 seconds left in the 2nd. Steve Higgs beat the buzzer to put the Shamrocks up 8-5, outscoring Burnaby 6-2 in the period, including scoring the final five of the frame.

Victoria picked up where they left off in the second period, Chris Wardle made it six in a row scoring on the power play to extend the lead to 9-5. Shortly after Justin Salt scored on a two-on-one break for Burnaby snapping the run at six straight and cutting the lead to 9-6. With Victoria killing a penalty Steve Priolo forced a turnover and while protecting the ball in the offensive zone, drew a penalty. Rhys Duch scored on the aforementioned man advantage, his fourth goal of the game, to make it 10-6. However, he wasn't the only Rock to strike four times as just moments later Corey Small beat Boychuk five-hole for his fourth, stretching the lead to five. Time expired on the Lakers as Victoria ran away with an 11-6 win, scoring eight of the game's last nine goals. Cody Hagedorn stopped 26 of 32 shots he faced while Zak Boychuk stopped 43 of 54. Corey Small scored four times and added six assists for first star honours, while Duch scored four and added two assists.

Next Game: Away, June 1, 7:30pm @ New Westminster Salmonbellies, Queen’s Park Arena (Available on PPV)

Next Home Game: Home June 2 @ 7:30pm vs Coquitlam Adanacs presented by Wilson’s Transportation, The Q Centre