Victoria Shamrocks Aim to Play Smarter Game
Times Colonist - May 24th - By Mario Annicchiarico
At one point during a timeout in the first period on Friday night, Nanaimo Timbermen goaltender Zack Boychuk did a face plant, tripping while trotting back to the bench, which brought about some chuckles at a sold-out Q Centre.
It was about the only time the netminder fell on his face in an 8-6 upset victory for the Timbermen over the Victoria Shamrocks.
Making 44 saves, Boychuk played a big part in Nanaimoâ€™s win. But so, too, did Victoriaâ€™s undisciplined play that also showed a lack of chemistry early in this Western Lacrosse Association season.
The Shamrocks (0-1) will get a second chance to get it right tonight at 7 in a rematch against the Timbermen (1-0) at Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo.
â€œWe have to be smarter,â€ said Shamrocks sniper Rhys Duch, who scored three of the six goals. â€œYou canâ€™t say they outworked us. You canâ€™t say they outplayed us. They outsmarted us.
â€œThey took advantage of our mistakes. We took a lot of dumb penalties and they capitalized. Special teams killed us. We have to be a little bit better in transition. I donâ€™t think we got any transition goals, but when you out-shoot a team by that much, you have to give kudos to their goalie. Boychuk had a great game.â€
Duch wrapped it all up in that statement as the Timbermen scored three power-play goals on the night. Former Junior Shamrocks star Brody Eastwood was spectacular for Nanaimo with four goals and an assist to lead all point-getters.
â€œWe knew theyâ€™re a much better team than they have been. They have a lot of young guys who are going to work hard and have a lot of skill. Maybe chemistry-wise we need to be a little more responsible when it comes to practice and things,â€ said Duch, who had a short-handed goal among his three tallies.
â€œTheyâ€™ve been practising hard, looking to build for that game and we had some guys just show up this week [back from the National Lacrosse League]. So I think our chemistry was a bit off and we have to be smarter.â€
Surely the defensive focus will shift to Eastwood for tonightâ€™s matchup.
â€œHeâ€™s a great player,â€ Duch said of Eastwood. â€œHeâ€™s going to be a good player in this league and heâ€™s going to be a great player in the pro leagues. And he was an amazing player at Stony Brook. Sunday, we have to pay more attention to players like him and we have to stay out of the [penalty] box.â€
Shamrocks assistant coach Art Webster echoed that sentiment.
â€œI think we have to pay a little more attention to him. We know heâ€™s a solid left-hand player and that he likes to play low on the crease,â€ Webster said of Eastwood. â€œWe need to box him out and be aware when heâ€™s on the floor and do a better job of that.
â€œWe were a little bit flat. We knew they were going to come into our building with lots of energy and they did. And I donâ€™t think we played all that intelligent,â€ Webster added. â€œBad penalties at bad times and we couldnâ€™t get on top of it. In the first period, we probably should have had them at 5-1, but our shot selections were terrible, really.
â€œHeâ€™s a good goaltender,â€ Webster said of Boychuk.
â€œHeâ€™s going to give them 60 solid minutes, so we have to shoot the ball better.â€