Rocks Advance to Semi-Finals

by Janice Huckin

The Tier 1 Shamrocks advanced to the league semi-finals with a 10-9 victory over the visiting Langley Thunder Tuesday, winning the series 2 games to 1.  It wasn’t the start they’d hoped for, the home team falling behind 2-0 early but led after 20 minutes by a 5-2 score, 8-6 after the second and had to break the tie late in the third period to get the win. 

Starting goaltenders were Nolan Dalep for Victoria and Dryden Recsky for the Thunder.  Langley got an early goal on the power play, Trevayne Hunter scoring at 1:33 in close.  They increased the lead to a pair at 3:21 when Chase Moore finished off some quick passing in close.  Cameron Lumb got things going for the home team, scoring an unassisted tally at 8:19 off a rebound in front.  Isaac Swan drew the Rocks even at 9:54, his great persistence going to the net paying off.  The Rocks took the lead at 15:56, Jonathon Boyd scoring on the power play from outside the dotted line.  Matthew Hermsen made it 4-2 at 17:01 also from outside the dotted line and before the period ended, Swan picked up his second, with the man advantage, a shot from outside the dotted line at 18:21.  That gave the home team a 5-2 lead heading into the first intermission with shots on goal 21-17 in favour of the Shamrocks.

The Rocks added yet another power play marker to stretch the lead to 4 goals, Boyd picking up his second of the game just 57 seconds in, finishing off some great ball control around the crease.  Langley stopped the momentum with a pair of goals, the first coming off the stick of Nathan Lavigne at 11:15 from the dotted line and the second coming just 30 seconds later from Hunter, his second of the game.  Victoria interrupted the streak with a goal at 14:03, Boyd collecting his hat trick goal getting in close but Langley replied with a pair, the first from Braden Struss-Reid at 15:05 as his shot ricocheted off the post and in and then following up with a shorthanded marker off the stick of Tristan Kirkham at 16:58.  Evan Law ended the second period scoring with a power play goal for the Rocks at 17:25, getting in close.  That made it 8-6 and the Thunder held the edge in shots on goal 21-17 in the period.

Langley drew within a goal at 6:21 of period 3, Kirkham getting his second with a quick stick in front.  Victoria regained a 2-goal lead with Carson Echlin’s goal at 7:26 on a bouncer from outside the dotted line.  They could not hold that lead, however, as the Thunder bounced back with a pair to tie the score.  Cooper Gettel got the visitors within one, getting in close at 10:09 and at 11:12 Hunter picked up his hat trick goal with a quick stick from outside the dotted line.  It was Lumb who broke the tie, scoring for the Shamrocks at 14:23 on a run off transition, Brodie Strugnell and Jared Wendt picking up assists on what would prove to be the winning goal.  Despite pulling the goaltender for the extra attacker in the dying seconds of the game and outshooting Victoria 21-14 in the period, Langley was unable to beat Dalep.

It was a very good night for Jonathon Boyd who led Victoria offensively with the hat trick and 2 assists.    Isaac Swan also had a 5-point night on a pair of goals and 3 helpers.  Cameron Lumb had 2 goals and 2 assists with Carson Echlin and Evan Law each chipping in a goal and 3 helpers.  Matthew Hermsen had the other Shamrocks goal and Nolan Dalep kicked out 50 shots to pick up the win.

The Shamrocks now advance to the semi-finals where they will face the Delta Islanders in a series starting Saturday, July 20 at 1:00 pm at the Q Center.  The Islanders advanced by beating the Nanaimo Tmbermen.  The other semi-final series will feature the Coquitlam Adanacs taking on the Richmond Roadrunners.