With a first-round playoff series victory in the bag, the Victoria Shamrocks intermediate ‘A’ lacrosse team can enjoy a breather of sorts while the remaining three teams for the provincial championships are determined.
Ben Preston powered the Shamrocks offence on Sunday, scoring six times to lead the visitors to a 19-14 victory over the Delta Islanders and a 2-0 sweep of their best-of-three series. The win followed a 16-12 overtime win the day before at The Q Centre.
“We’ve got two weeks to fine-tune it and it’ll be two weeks of hard work and working on little things. But we need to be prepared,” said Shamrocks head coach Tim Dennett, whose team won it all last year.
This season the top five teams in the B.C. league were separated by just four points, with Victoria finishing fourth after tiebreakers and Delta fifth. Dennett said his squad, a “good blend of first- and second-year players,” is a “pretty athletic and pretty skilled” group that matches up well with any team in the league.
“I’d say we move the ball better than anybody in the league; we’re bigger, stronger and faster and we want to try to increase that pace.”
On Sunday, Victoria led 7-3 after the first period and poured on the steam in the second to extend their lead to 15-5. Even Victoria goaltender Spencer Erwin got in on the scoring parade, firing a ball down floor into an empty net when Delta pulled their keeper for an extra attacker.
Being humbled in their own building, the Islanders ramped things up in the third period, playing more physically and putting pressure on the visitors’ defence.
They managed to pull closer, but strong play by defenders Josh and Max Wilson, plus Tyler Glanfield and Dawson Gordon, helped the Shamrocks hold the lead.
On Saturday the locals scored the only four goals of the 10-minute overtime period, including three shorthanded, to take the win.
Victoria led 5-1 after the first period lead evaporate as the Islanders roared back to tie things up at 7-7 after two. The back-and-forth contest continued in the third as the teams traded goals to wind up tied 12-12.
Nick Murray led the Shamrocks’ offence with three goals and four assists, while Brian Robb had four goals and two assists. Preston also chipped in with a hat trick and two helpers, while six other players scored once each.
Caleb Kueber and Jackson Boyd didn’t find the back of the net, but had four and three helpers, respectively for the Shamrocks.