The Victoria Shamrocks are in a much better position heading into tonight’s game 5 of the Western Lacrosse Association final, after beating the Burrards 11-8 in Maple Ridge last night.
The win knotted the series at two games apiece, essentially making it a best-of-three. The players have a quick turnaround, coming home to host the Burrards at The Q Centre this evening at 7:45 p.m. in Colwood.
The Shamrocks, paced with three goals from Corey Small and two each from Rhys Duch, Chris Wardle and Cory Conway, opened up a 4-0 lead in the first 6:50 of the game and never relinquished it.
The home team didn’t go quietly, however. Three straight tallies pulled Maple Ridge to within a goal by the first intermission, and in the second, a calculated gamble with their team down 9-6 saw the Burrards’ Ben McIntosh score with one second on the clock and their goalie pulled for an extra attacker.
The teams tightened up defensively in the third, but it was the Shamrocks’ Jeff Shattler who bagged the next goal, scoring from Duch and Wardle at the 3:55 mark.
Riley Loewen scored his second of the game for the Burrards a few minutes later, but that was as close as the locals would get, as Greg Harnett scored an empty-netter to salt away the win.
The game was marred by some rough stuff after the final buzzer, including a fight between Harnett and the Burrards’ Aaron Davis. The residual effect of that dustup may be felt tonight at The Q Centre, as the Burrards, threatened with expulsion by the league earlier this year for multiple such instances, look to avoid going down 3-2 in the series.
Fans looking for tickets to tonight’s game can call the Shamrocks’ office at 250-478-7625, visit the arena box office after 11 a.m. or the team store at 967 Langford Pkwy. or visit victoriashamrocks.com