Victoria Shamrocks win game 1 in Burnaby to lead playoff series 1-0

Victoria Shamrocks 9 at Burnaby Lakers 8 game recap

Victoria leads WLA Semi-Final series 1-0

Written by Justis Doucet

After facing the Lakers in two of their last three regular season games, it would be fair to say the Shamrocks knew what they were up against, and with a week off, head coach Bob Heyes got his offense rolling early.

The Shamrocks were ready as they stormed out of the gate, scoring three times in the first 4 minutes. Casey Jackson carried on from his career best twenty-seven goal season, scoring his first of the playoffs on Victoria's first shot fifty-two seconds in. Just under eighty seconds later Jackson scored again as his sub shot beat Burnaby netminder Eric Penney. Corey Small put the visitors up 3-0 on his first of the playoffs, following up a league leading thirty-eight goal campaign. Aaron Bold stopped all seventeen Laker shots as Victoria held a 3-0 lead after twenty minutes.

The home side clawed back in the second as Robert Church scored twice in the first few minutes of the frame to trim the Victoria lead to 3-2. Victoria was quick to answer as Josh Fagan and Cody Nass each tallied their first of the playoffs just sixteen seconds apart to reclaim the three goal cushion. Then Junior Shamrocks call up Danny Smith took the ball coast to coast in transition before burying his first WLA goal at the other end to give Victoria a 6-2 lead just ahead of the game's mid-way point. Church scored his third of the game on the power play to end the Victoria run. Cam Milligan scored two minutes later for the Lakers to cut the Victoria lead back to two. Burnaby outshot Victoria 17-11 but the Shamrocks held a 6-4 lead after forty minutes.

Burnaby trimmed the Victoria lead to one on a goal from Dane Stevens before Casey Jackson scored back to back goals three minutes apart to put Victoria up 8-5. Sheldon Burns added another as he beat Penney who was scrambling back to his goal from the bench. Burnaby scored the final three goals of the game, including two in the last minute, but Victoria held on, as the game's third star Aaron Bold stopped forty-one in the win.. Casey Jackson was given first-star honours with his four goals and an assist. Victoria took a 1-0 series lead after the 9-8 win on the road and return home on Saturday to The Q Centre at 6pm.

The Shamrocks pulled out the win without seven of their starters. Victoria was missing a pair of right handed forwards in Rhys Duch and Joe Resetarits. Cody Nass and Josh Fagan stepped up in their absence. They were also short five defenders, Tyler Hass, Ben McCullough, both Jon and Greg Harnett, and Matt Yager. Dallas Wade and Steve Priolo played well and logged a ton of minutes on the back end and Sheldon Burns scored the game winning goal. One of Victoria's biggest strengths this season has been their depth at all positions, and it helped them pull out a game one win on the mainland.

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Next game HOME (Game 2 in best of 7 series): Saturday August 5th, 6pm at The Q Centre in Victoria. Tickets at HERE, by calling 250-478-7625, the team store at 967 Langford Parkway or the arena at noon on game day.