With their unbeaten 2015 playoff record still intact, the Victoria Shamrocks have their sights set on winning the Mann Cup on home floor and erasing the disappointment of back-to-back Cup losses.
The Shamrocks clinched a berth in their third straight Canadian indoor lacrosse championship series Friday with a convincing 10-5 win over the Salmonbellies in New Westminster. The win gave the boys in green a 4-0 sweep of the Western Lacrosse Association final series.
The 106th Mann Cup series is due to start Sept. 4 at The Q Centre. Ticket details were unavailable at press time, but fans can visit victoriashamrocks.com for more information.
Meanwhile, two-time defending Mann Cup champion Six Nations Chiefs rebounded from two opening-game losses to the Peterborough Lakers with a 7-6 win Friday night.
Rhys Duch scored four times, including three goals in the first period, to lead the Shamrocks attack on the night, while goaltender Aaron Bold came up big yet again, stopping all but five of the Bellies’ 50-shot barrage.
Bold was later named most valuable player for the WLA playoffs, having given up 46 goals in eight games (5.93 goals against average) and posting an .861 save percentage.
With Dan Dawson back east for work commitments, and Jesse King, Greg Harnett, Steve Priolo and Rory Smith not in the lineup for various reasons, some of Victoria’s big guns ramped up their game. On top of Duch’s effort – he was held goalless in the previous two games – Cory Conway scored once and set up four other goals, while Daryl Veltman and Corey Small chipped in with a goal and three assists each.
Scott Ranger, Karsen Leung and Tyler also scored for the Shamrocks, who built period leads of 4-1 and 8-3 en route to the series-clinching win.
Keegan Ball had two goals and a helper to lead the Salmonbellies, who also got goals from Richard Lachlan, Jordan McBride and Jimmy McBride.