Rocks 2-for-2 on Weekend

by Janice Huckin

After ending the Langley Thunder’s 4-game season-opening winning streak on Saturday, the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks played host to the Delta Islanders on Sunday and went 2-for-2 as they handed the Islanders a 12-6 defeat to improve their record to 3-2, good for second place in the league standings.

Once again it was Cam Dunkerley getting the start in goal for the Rocks while Matt Hills got the nod for the visitors.  The home team got the lead at 2:23 of the opening period when Brayden Brown scored from outside the dotted line.  Delta got that one back at 4:44, Haiden Dickson getting in close.  A power play goal off the stick of Mark Yingling gave the visitors the lead at 12:15 on a quick stick in front and that was all the scoring in the period.  Shots on goal favoured Delta by a 14-12 margin and they were up 3-2 going into the intermission. 

The Islanders increased their lead with another power play goal to open period 2 scoring at 2:40, Ryan Jones getting in close but Victoria replied with a power play goal of their own, Ben Preston scoring at 3:31.  With a number of penalties in the early going, Delta got yet another power play goal at 4:44, Mitchell Sandberg scoring from the dotted line to put the visitors up 4-2.  Victoria caught fire after that, scoring 4 straight.  First it was Isaac Swan connecting at 10:30, finishing off some good ball movement in close.  Casey Wilson added another at 12:35 to pull the Rocks even at 4 before Preston picked up his second at 13:09 from the dotted line.  Zach Manns rounded out the second period scoring for the Shamrocks, getting in close at 14:18.  That finished a volley of 4 goals in less than 4 minutes putting the home team up 6-4 after 40 minutes.

Victoria kept the streak going early in the final period, Preston getting his hat trick marker at the 1:18 mark, that goal coming with the man advantage.  Delta broke the streak at 4:05, Liam McDonald finding twine off a rebound in front with goaltender Dunkerley down.  Casey Wilson collected his second of the game to restore the 4-goal Victoria lead with a shorthanded marker at 9:58 on a run.  Rookie Patrick Dodds put in a pair, the first at 11:33, cutting to the net and the second at 14:20, diving across the front of the net and it was 10-6 for the home team.  Dickson picked up his second of the game for Delta on the power play, an unassisted goal at 18:18 but Victoria put the game out of reach with a couple of late tallies.  Kyle Pepper scored into an empty net on a breakaway at 19:03 and Colt Gnech got up close and personal with goaltender Hills, tucking a goal in at 19:35 to provide the margin of victory.

Zach Manns led the Shamrocks in scoring with a goal and 7 helpers, putting him first in scoring in the league with his performance.  Ben Preston with the hat trick and 2 helpers and Brayden Brown with a goal and 4 helpers each contributed 5 points.  Casey Wilson and Patrick Dodds each added a pair of goals with Dodds also chipping in 2 assists. Isaac Swan, Kyle Pepper and Colt Gnech added singles.  Cam Dunkerley made 35 saves to pick up the win.  With the result, the Shamrocks now trail the first-place Langley Thunder by just 2 points with both teams having played 5 games.

Next up for the Jr. ‘A’ Rocks is a home encounter next Saturday, May 18 against the Burnaby Lakers.  That is a 5:00 pm start at the Q Centre.  You can catch the Tier 1 Junior ‘B’ Shamrocks in action prior to that as they host the Langley Thunder at 1:00 pm.