Victoria Shamrocks team captain and key offensive weapon

Victoria Shamrocks team captain and key offensive weapon

UPDATE: Shamrocks lose two key players for playoff road game

WLA commissioner hands out one-game suspensions to Victoria's Small, Harnett; Burnaby's Rouse

The Victoria Shamrocks will be without two key players for tonight’s game 2 of their Western Lacrosse Association semifinal in Burnaby.

Corey Small, team captain and second-leading scorer in the WLA, and defender Jon Harnett were handed one-game suspensions, along with the Lakers Scott Rouse.

The infractions to Small and Rouse, announced Thursday by WLA commissioner Ernie Truant following a video review, stem from a first-period scuffle after the whistle in Tuesday’s opening game of the series, won 9-6 by Victoria in Colwood.

The referees on the floor penalized Small for spearing and Rouse for checking from behind, but video showed that Rouse blatantly checked the Shamrocks’ Rhys Duch in the face, an action that went unpenalized at the time. Harnett was suspended for a check to the head area of a Lakers player on a separate play.

Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch said losing Small and Harnett for tonight’s game is a blow.

“Winning on the road in the playoffs is challenging enough,” Welch said in a release, “and it will be much more difficult without these two premier players in our lineup tonight. It is what it is, and we will have to battle through it to get to where we want to be.”

Game 3 of the semifinal series happens in Colwood, with a rare 6 p.m. start at The Q Centre, with game 4 back in Burnaby on Sunday. Game 5, if necessary, would be played next Wednesday night (Aug. 17) in Colwood at the usual start time of 7:45 p.m.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com