Shamrocks take stranglehold on WLA series

Victoria looks to close out semifinal with a win in New Westminster on Wednesday

The Victoria Shamrocks jumped out to a 5-0 first-period lead, then held off a determined New Westminster team Sunday night to win game 3 of their Western Lacrosse Association semifinal.

Victoria’s 11-8 victory at The Q Centre gave them a commanding 3-0 series in their best-of-seven series heading into Wednesday’s (Aug. 13) game 4 in New Westminster.

“We had a great first period. The defence got a lot of transition goals,” Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes said. New Westminster battled back hard in the second and made a game of it, he added. “Cody Hagedorn came in and really shut the door for us.”

The Salmonbellies, stung by four straight Victoria goals in the final 1:02 of game 2 the night before in New Westminster to lose 13-12, chased Shamrocks starter Matt Flindell from the net 11:49 into the second period of game 3. New West had scored their fifth and sixth goals of the period seven seconds apart to make it 8-6 Victoria.

Hagedorn stopped 16 of 18 shots he faced and the defence tightened up to keep the home team in control.

The ‘Rocks went four-for-four on the power play, while New West went 0-for-7 with the man advantage.

Rhys Duch, with three goals and two assists; and Jesse King, with a goal and four helpers, led the Victoria attack on the night. Other goal scorers were Corey Small and Karson Leung with two each, and Tyler Hass, Chris Wardle and Scott Ranger with singles.

Keegan Bal and Jordan McBride had two goals each to lead the Bellies.

Victoria won the opening game 13-8 at home on Friday night, led by a seven-goal, two-assist performance from Small. He and Duch shared the league scoring title this season with 76 points.

Should New Westminster win game 4, game 5 will be played this Friday at 6 p.m. at The Q Centre.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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