Rocks Smother Flames in Game 1
The South Okanagan Flames came into the Q Center to face the Tier 1 Junior B Shamrocks in a 2-game total-goal affair to determine the Tier 1 Provincial Champion and it was the Rocks igniting for a 6-1 first period lead that eventually led to an 11-6 victory.
Starting goaltenders were Adam Bland for the Shamrocks and Connor Ramage for the Flames. Victoria had a 5-0 lead before the visitors were able to hit the scoreboard and it was Jonathon Boyd opening the scoring just 23 seconds into the opening period with a bullet from outside the dotted line on the very first shot of the game. Carson Echlin followed up with a goal at 7:24, getting in close and scoring off a rebound. At 10:28, Cameron made it 3-0 for the home side from the dotted line. Just 30 seconds later Rhys McDonald added another, charging the net and, on a delayed penalty, Graham Goodfellow scored Victoria’s 6th goal from the dotted line. South Okanagan finally managed to break Bland’s goose egg at 16:24 when Ethan Konno tallied, that goal coming on a 5-on-3 power play in close. The Rocks got that one back on a power play of their own, Brodie Wade scoring with a quick stick from the side also on a 5-on-3 man advantage. That finished the first period scoring with penalties playing a large role for both teams.
The second period saw more special teams goals, beginning 1:47 into the frame with Wade picking up his second straight, getting in close. Okanagan replied with a power play marker at 7:50, Cairo Rogers finding twine in close on a shot that seemed to go in off the goaltender. Victoria replied with a shorthanded goal, Brody Strugnell scoring unassisted on a run as his team was down 2 players. That made it a 6-goal lead but was short-lived as the Flames got yet another power play goal at 9:49, Alex Nimmo getting in close. At 12:42 Cole Arthur forced a turnover and rambled in alone to make the score 9-3 and just over 2 minutes later, at 14:53 Lumb picked up his second of the game for the Shamrocks from the dotted line. Before the period ended, Zander Torres replied for the visitors, that goal coming at 17:31 to make it 10-4 after 40 minutes.
The penalty parade continued into the final period but only 3 goals were scored, the Flames opening the scoring at 4:51 with Rogers’ second of the game getting in close. A shorthanded goal for the home team, off the stick of Lumb, his hat trick goal, came at 8:22 as he went to the net and South Okanagan closed out the scoring at 8:43 with a power play goal from Konno, his second of the night, from inside the dotted line.
Leading the way offensively for Victoria was Cameron Lumb with the hat trick and 1 assist. Jonathon Boyd had a goal and 4 helpers for a 5-point night while Brodie Wade had 2 goals. Other goals came from Cole Arthur, Carson Echlin, Graham Goodfellow, Rhys McDonald, and Brody Strugnell while Davis McCulley chipped in 4 assists. Adam Bland went the distance, playing a strong game between the pipes to pick up the win.
For the visitors, all the scoring came from just 6 players as Ethan Konno and Cairo Rogers each had a pair of goals with Rogers adding 2 assists. Zander Torres and Alex Nimmo each had a goal and 2 helpers with Logan Cote chipping in 2 assists and Keegan Allen one assist.
Game 2 in the series is Sunday at the Q Center at 12 noon and that will determine the Provincial Champion