Victoria Shamrocks Greg Harnett, left, Matt Yager and Jon Harnett smother a Burnaby ball carrier in the late stages of Game 7 of the teams’ Western Lacrosse Association playoff semifinal at The Q Centre in Colwood last year. The team recently signed Tyler Burton and the Harnett brothers for another season. Don Descoteau/News Gazette staff

Shamrocks deepen roster for 2017 WLA season in Colwood

Defenceman Burton, Harnett brothers inked for coming season

The Victoria Shamrocks took strides toward making the defensive zone a tough place to play for Western Lacrosse Association opponents in 2017.

The team signed Tyler Burton and brothers Jon and Greg Harnett, key contributors to the Shamrocks ninth Mann Cup national championship in 2015. Burton, 28, is returning for his fifth season with the Shamrocks.

One of the top faceoff men in the WLA, Burton brings size and strength to the Shamrocks back end. Burton more than doubled his total points from last year to 18, most on the team for a defenceman. He has been a workhorse, playing 67 regular season games and 57 playoff games in the last four seasons. He won a Mann Cup in 2011 with the Brampton Excelsiors before joining the ’Rocks.

“I’m excited and thankful to be part of this organization for another year,” Burton said. “We have the best fans in the league and a great lacrosse community with a lot of support, which makes me want to play here for as long as I can. I have the same goal every season, to win a Mann Cup; once you win one, you want another.”

The Harnett brothers, fan favourites for their intensity on the floor and their involvement in the community, lend grit and experience to the Shamrocks defensive zone.

Greg, 26, joined the Shamrocks in 2012, and has played in 62 WLA regular season games and 55 playoff games in four seasons while racking up 342 penalty minutes and 44 points.

“I think we are putting together an exciting team and I’m excited to see what our new acquisitions can bring to the group we already have,” he said. “I look forward to getting back in the green and white, battling with the guys and playing in front of the best fans in the WLA.”

Jon, 27, joined his brother on the team in 2013 in a trade with the Coquitlam Adanacs. Jon has played in 51 regular season and 53 playoff games and amassed 50 points. “I’m excited to be returning to the Shamrocks and I look forward to battling to get back to the Mann Cup again this year,” he said. “Our fans are the greatest and they deserve another championship banner.”

The Harnett brothers have had great success playing together throughout their careers. Raised in the lacrosse hot-bed of Orangeville, Ontario, the brothers played their junior lacrosse for the Orangeville Northmen, and won a Minto Cup in 2008. Burton and the Harnetts now live and work in Victoria and look forward to trying to add another Mann Cup to their already impressive resumes.

Victoria opens the season May 19 at The Q Centre against the Langley Thunder starting at 7:30 p.m.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com