Victoria Shamrocks Greg Harnett

Cardiac kid Shamrocks pull out semifinal win, host game 1 of lacrosse final

Victoria defends its WLA crown against Maple Ridge starting on Wednesday in Colwood

Shamrocks host Game 1 in WLA final tonight in Colwood

It took four games to do it, but the Victoria Shamrocks finally put away the pesky Burnaby Lakers in their Western Lacrosse Association playoff semifinal.

The Shamrocks begin their WLA title defence Wednesday night (Aug. 24) at The Q Centre against the Maple Ridge Burrards at 7:45 p.m.

In front of a large crowd at The Q Centre on Sunday night in Colwood, the defending Mann Cup champion Shamrocks took an 11-4 lead into the third period, but escaped with a 14-11 win.

“Burnaby is an outstanding team and we knew that going in,” said Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes after the game. “We bent a little bit, but we didn’t break.”

Shamrocks stalwart Cory Conway led the attack with three goals and five assists on the night to earn the game’s first star honours. Afterward he gave kudos to Burnaby for making the Shamrocks work hard for every victory they achieved.

“They’re a well-coached team; they’re hungry and they never went away,” he said. While pointing out that goaltender Adam Shute came up with some big stops at key times for Victoria on Sunday, the Lakers’ Zak Boychuk was equal to the task the last few games. “He comes up big when he gets confident.”

Shamrocks captain Corey Small noted that Burnaby is a club with all the right pieces in place to contend in years to come, adding, “They’ve got a bright future, that team.”

Having faced elimination and emerged with a win in three straight games, the Lakers showed in the third they would not go quietly.

Down 11-4 to start the third period, Burnaby scored five of the next six goals to pull within three at 12-9 with seven and a half minutes still to go. Faced with having to overtake a veteran playoff team, the Lakers played much of the last half of the period with goaltender Zak Boychuk pulled for an extra attacker and the strategy paid off with three straight goals.

Victoria transition player Ethan Garland made the Lakers pay by popping a shot into the empty net to make it 13-9 at the 14:13 mark, but Chris O’Dougherty scored just 34 seconds later to cut the lead to three again.

The teams battled hard for the next few scoreless minutes and Shute, who finished with  was large in net for the Shamrocks until Conway broke free and found the empty net in the final minute to make it 14-10.

Rhys Duch and Corey Small added two goals and three assists each to help power the Shamrocks’ offence. Call-up Braylon Lumb continued his solid play, scoring twice as did Jeff Shattler, while Tyler Burton and Chris Wardle had a goal apiece.

Josh Byrne had seven points to lead the Lakers, on a goal and six assists, while Eli McLaughlin had the hat trick. Robert Church finished with six points on two goals and four helpers and Scott Jones also scored twice. Other goals came from Matt Beers and Tyler Digby.

Heyes said the seven-game battle with the Lakers was good preparation for the final against Maple Ridge, who eliminated New Westminster in five games and clinched with a come-from-behind 11-10 win last Wednesday.

“They’re focused,” he said of his players, who are a bit beat up but ready to go. “It’s going to be a great series.”

WLA showtime

Here’s the schedule for the Western Lacrosse Association final between the Victoria Shamrocks and Maple Ridge Burrards:

Game 1 – Wed. Aug. 24 in Colwood, 7:45 p.m.

Game 2 – Fri. Aug. 26, Maple Ridge

Game 3 – Sun. Aug. 28, Colwood, 6 p.m.

Game 4 – Tues. Aug. 30, Maple Ridge

Game 5 (if necessary) – Wed. Aug. 31, Colwood, 7:45 p.m.

Game 6 (if nec.) – Fri. Sept. 2, Maple Ridge

Game 7 (if nec.) – Sun. Sept. 4, Colwood, 6 p.m.

Home game tickets for the final series are on sale at the Shamrocks team office at 120-967 Langford Pkwy., or online at


Just Posted

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Oak Bay grants 60 days of protection for century-old mansion

J.W. Morris House slated for removal by Abstract Developments

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read