Rocks Fighting for Top Spot

by Janice Huckin

The Tier 1 Shamrocks jumped into a 3-way tie for top spot in the league with an 11-5 victory over the visiting Langley Thunder Saturday at the Q Center.

Nolan Dalep got the start in goal for the Rocks with Dryden Recsky between the pipes for the visitors.  Victoria jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead, both goals coming on special teams.  Carson Echlin tallied first at 5:19 off a rebound in front with the man advantage and at 9:52 Graham Goodfellow made it 2-0 with a shorthanded marker on a run, picking up an outlet pass from Dalep.  That was all the scoring in the opening frame, despite a rash of penalties, most of them against the home team.

Langley broke the goose egg with an early goal in period 2, Trevayne Hunter scoring just 44 seconds in, getting in close.  Victoria replied with a 4-goal outburst to open a 6-1 lead just past the halfway point of the period.  Joe Zerr scored twice on consecutive power plays, the first coming at 4:13 with a hard shot from outside the dotted line.  The second came at 5:21 with a quick stick from the side of the crease.  Brodie Strugnell then made it 5-1 with some transition speed, scoring an unassisted goal at 8:31.  Logan Wright added another at 11:45 from the side of the crease, a shot that Recsky got a piece of but couldn’t quite contain.  Langley managed to hit the scoresheet for the second time in the game at 14:46, Hunter with his second from outside the dotted line but the Shamrocks replied with the final goal of the period, Goodfellow getting his second of the contest with just 24 seconds left on the clock, that goal coming unassisted on a run to the net.  After 40 minutes, it was 7-2 for the home team.

Victoria got on a 3-goal run to start the final period, special teams again figuring prominently in the scoring.  First it was Cameron Lumb tallying at 2:48 on the power play as he crashed the net.  That was followed by another power play goal, this one off the stick of Jacob Obee at 7:41 as he scored off the far post.  An even strength goal courtesy of midget call-up Finn Halladay made it 10-2 for the Shamrocks, as he spun around in front to find twine.  The visitors managed to get a pair, the first from Hunter, his hat trick marker at 10:28 and the second off the stick of Tristan Kirkham at 14:19, that goal coming with the manpower advantage.  The teams traded goals before the period ended, Victoria getting a goal from Evan Law at 14:47, getting in close and the closer from Langley’s Kai Maenpaa at 19:19, on a run.

The Shamrocks now have a record of 5-2, tied with Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam who hold 2 and 1 game in hand respectively.  Leading Victoria’s offense were Graham Goodfellow and Joe Zerr with 2 goals each.  Evan Law chipped in a goal and 3 assists with other goals coming from Cameron Lumb, CarsonEchlin, logan Wright, Brodie Strugnell, Finn Halladay and Jacob Obee.  Jonathon Boyd had a strong game with 3 helpers and Nolan Dalep went the distance in goal to pick up the win. 

As quickly as they jumped into a share of top spot, the Tier 1 Rocks unfortunately fell to the Coquitlam Adanacs Sunday on the mainland, dropping a 12-4 decision.  Scoring for the Rocks were Cameron Lumb, Travis Pullan, Evan Law and Finn Halladay.  The Shamrocks next see action next Saturday at the Q Center when they will host the Richmond Roadrunners at 1:00 pm.