Weekend sweep yields second spot for Jr. Shamrocks

Jr. A lacrosse playoffs open Saturday at The Q Centre in Colwood

Two season-ending victories over Port Coquitlam clinched second place in the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League for the Victoria Shamrocks.

A 9-5 win on the mainland Sunday followed an 11-7 defeat of the Saints at The Q Centre the night before and left the Shamrocks at 14-6-1. That was two points better than their first-round playoff opponent, the Delta Islanders (13-7-1), who were walloped 26-6 by league-leading Coquitlam (20-1-0) on Sunday.

Victoria will have home floor advantage for their best-of-five playoff series against the Islanders, which begins this weekend in Colwood. Game 1 happens Saturday at 5 p.m. at The Q Centre, with game 2 set for Sunday in Delta. The series shifts to the Panorama Recreation Centre in North Saanich for game 3 due to a scheduling conflict. Games 4 and 5, if necessary, will be in Delta on July 19 and Colwood on July 20, both at 5 p.m.

Cole Pickup padded his Shamrocks team scoring lead with five goals in the finale on Sunday. He added an assist to finish with 36 goals and 39 helpers for 75 points in 18 games played.

Jake Cullen added two goals and three assists in the win, while singles went to McLean Chicquen and Jamie Jensen. Goalie Charles Claxton played the first 40 minutes, allowing just two goals on 16 shots as his team built an 8-2 lead. Newly acquired backup Matt Zeller stopped 14 of 17 shots in the third for Victoria.

The night before, the Shamrocks fell behind 3-1 midway through the first period, but scored six of the next seven goals and held the lead for good.

Cullen scored three times to lead Victoria on the night, while Ryan Lewis and Jensen bagged two each. Matt Hamilton chipped in a goal and four assists, while Nick Preston had one and three.

Intermediate Shamrocks stumble

The intermediate A Shamrocks (13-4) lost twice over the weekend, 12-9 to Delta on the mainland Sunday and 13-7 at home to Coquitlam on Saturday, but remain in the hunt for at least a share of top spot in the B.C. league.

Their final regular season game goes this Sunday in Maple Ridge, with the playoff getting underway the following week.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com