Rocks Outpace Roadrunners

by Janice Huckin

The Tier 1 Shamrocks came up with a hard-fought 8-6 win on home floor Saturday over the visiting Richmond Roadrunners.  The Rocks held period leads of 4-3 and 6-4 on the way to the victory, giving them a share of top spot with the Coquitlam Adanacs heading into a road game Sunday against the New Westminster Salmonbellies.  The Adanacs do hold a few games in hand.

Nolan Dalep got the start in goal for Victoria and Riku Jokela got the call for the visitors.  It was Richmond getting on the board first, Josh Bourne getting in close at 5:26 with the teams playing 4-on-4.  At 6:50 the visitors took a 2-0 lead, Mitchell Ely scoring from outside the dotted line on the power play.  Victoria replied at 8:37, Cameron Lumb going to the net, that goal coming shorthanded and Evan Law pulled the home team even at 9:47 from right in front.  The Rocks took their first lead of the night at 12:09, Law getting his second of the game from inside the dotted line, another goal with the teams playing 4 aside.  Davis McCulley made it 4-2 Shamrocks at 15:40 with a power play marker from the dotted line but the ‘Runners got within a goal with a power play goal of their own, Ryan Jensen tallying at 16:54 and that was how the period ended.  The Roadrunners held the edge in shots on goal 16-12 in the period but the Rocks were up 4-3 on the board heading into the dressing room after 20 minutes.

Richmond pulled even at 2:21 of the middle frame, Bourne getting his second of the contest.  Victoria scored the only other 2 goals in the period, McCulley getting his second, on the power play once again, at 5:56 and Carson Echlin scoring at 15:21 with a bullet from the dotted line.

The final period saw each team score twice, Victoria opening the scoring at the 56-second mark, a couple of defensive players combining as Ryan Tomer assisted on Rhys MacDonald’s goal.  Richmond replied with Brock Jung finding twine with a quick stick in front at 1:54.  Jonathon Boyd gave the Rocks a 3-goal lead at 3:58 with a power play goal from the dotted line and the Roadrunners rounded out the scoring at 14:56, Chad Lore getting in close but that was as close as they would get.

Evan Law and Davis McCulley led Victoria’s attack with a pair of goals and 2 assists each.  Singles came from Carson Echlin, Cameron Lumb, Rhys MacDonald, and Jonathon Boyd.  Nolan Dalep kicked out 35 of the 41 shots he faced as the Shamrocks were outshot 41-34 overall.

Standings are extremely tight with Coquitlam and Victoria atop the list with 12 points each.  Nanaimo is right behind with 11, Port Coquitlam 10, Richmond 9 and Delta with 6 points.  The Shamrocks take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies Sunday and the same Salmonbellies make the return trip to Victoria next Saturday, June 1 for a 1:00 pm contest at the Q Center.