For the first time in three games, the Maple Ridge Burrards prevented the Victoria Shamrocks from building an early lead.
The mainlanders never trailed in game 5 of the Western Lacrosse Association finals Wednesday night at The Q Centre, and took a 3-2 series lead with a 12-8 victory.
The Shamrocks now face a must-win situation on Friday as the series shifts back to Maple Ridge for game 6. Should they win and force game 7, that would be played Sunday in Colwood at 6 p.m.
Riley Loewen and Ben McIntosh scored three times each for the winners, who held the locals to a 2-2 tie after one period but opened up an 8-5 lead after two.
As has been the case in their three home games – none of which they’ve won – the Shamrocks cranked up the shots on Burrards goalie Frankie Scigliano. Once again he was equal to the task, stopping 43 of 51 shots and being named the game’s first star.
Corey Small tallied three times to lead Victoria, who also scored two power play goals on the night.
Down 8-3 midway through the second period, the Shamrocks gained life when Jeff Shattler and Rhys Duch scored to pull their team to within three. Small scored just 1:34 into the third to make it a two-goal game, but that was as close as Victoria could get.
McIntosh and Mike Mallory tallied within the next three and a half minutes to make it 10-6 Maple Ridge and from there Scigliano went to work, allowing just two more goals the rest of the way.
The Burrards’ final goal came with the Shamrocks’ net empty in the final minute.
Fans hoping to view the Friday night game can do so at Brown’s Social House on Goldstream Avenue in Langford. Game time is 6 p.m.