Jr. Rocks Eliminate Langley

by Janice Huckin

In a must-win game for the Langley Thunder, they were unable to overcome the Shamrocks as they lost 17-6 Saturday at the Q Centre.  The game was never close as the Shamrocks jumped out to a 5-1 lead early to finish the period up 9-2 before going on to 14-5 after 40 minutes on their way to the win.

Starting goaltenders were Cam Dunkerley for the home team and Toren Vanrheenan for the visitors and it was the Thunder opening scoring just 8 seconds into the game, Nathaniel Kozevnikov going in right off the opening faceoff.  Then Victoria rattled off 5 straight, beginning with a power play goal at 2:21 from Marshal King on a hard, low shot from outside the dotted line.  Brad McCulley made it 2-1 Shamrocks at 4:29, cutting to the net and 3 minutes later it was Eddie Smith finding twine getting in close.  Jake Campbell added an unassisted goal at 10:38 off a loose ball and at 14:42, Braylon Lumb made it 5-1 with a shorthanded goal in close.  That precipitated the first goalie change for the visitors as Braden Washington stepped in.  Langley replied with a power play goal at15:15, the first in a barrage of goals within a short time span.  McCulley picked up his second of the game at15:45 and Vanrheenan resumed his post between the pipes for Langley.  Lumb added his second for the Shamrocks at16:34 and Washington was back in and would finish the game.  King picked up his second at 18:17 with a hard, low shot from outside the dotted line and Brian Robb netted another for the home team with just a couple of ticks left on the clock with a sidearm bullet from outside the dotted line.

Victoria’s domination continued early in period 2, Lumb picking up his hat trick goal on the power play at 2:51, Campbell adding his second also with the man advantage at 3:42.  Langley got one back at 4:49, Tesi Oakes scoring from the dotted line. As the game deteriorated into a penalty-fest, Victoria’s power play continued to pile up the points, Ben Preston adding another at 7:48, that coming after Langley took a delay of game penalty calling for a stick measurement on Victoria’s Gabe Harman which stick proved to be legal.  Langley picked up a pair of goals, Dylan McIntosh and then Kozevnikov with his second at 8:17 and 11:11 respectively.  Marshal King and Lumb with his fourth, shorthanded, at 17:35 and 19:36 made it 14-5 after 2 periods.

On to the final period and it was Lumb picking up his fifth goal just 39 seconds in.  Langley added one more, the second of the game from Oakes before big defender Dylan Rehman got in close on a run following a faceoff to score a rare goal and Nick Murray closed the scoring for Victoria with a power play goal at 11:33. The rest of the game was more or less a series of penalties.  

The win solidifies Victoria’s hold on the fourth and final playoff spot with an outside chance that they could move into third. They sit with 23 points, 3 behind the Port Coquitlam Saints and the New Westminster Salmonbellies but with a game in hand over the Saints who made a number of deadline trades.  

Leading Victoria’s offense was the league’s leading scorer, Braylon Lumb who amassed another 5 goals and 2 assists.  Marshal King had the hat trick and 3 assists while Brad McCulley and Jake Campbell had 2 goals and 3 and 1 assist respectively. Also scoring for the Rocks were Dylan Rehman, Ben Preston, Nick Murray, and Eddie Smith.  Jackson Boyd and Austin Madronic picked up 5 and 4 assists respectively.  Cam Dunkerley picked up the win with a little back-up from Spencer Erwin.

The Shamrocks are on the road Monday to take on the Delta Islanders in a 2:00 pm match-up.  They wrap up the season next weekend with a home game against the New Westminster Salmonbellies Saturday, July 7 at 4:00 pm and a Sunday match-up on the road against league-leading Coquitlam.  Playoffs will likely begin the weekend of July 14-15 on the road with potentially a Sunday home game in an as-yet-to-be-determined venue, the Q Centre being unavailable due to Rock the Shores.