Rocks Facing Elimination

by Janice Huckin

The Victoria Shamrocks and Orangeville Northmen took to the floor for game 2 of their best-of-five Minto Cup final series Thursday and it was a different Shamrocks team as they led after 20 minutes 3-2.  Orangeville replied to open the second period with 4 straight goals but after 40 minutes, the Rocks had drawn within a goal with 2 straight to trail 6-5.  Unfortunately the final period saw Orangeville score 5 unanswered to win the contest 11-5.

Starting goaltenders were Cameron Dunkerley and Rylan Hartley as in game 1 for the Rocks and Northmen respectively.  As in game 1, it appeared special teams would play a role as the first goal was a power play marker off the stick of Jonathon Donville of the Ontario champions at the 6:36 mark, as he got in close.  Victoria replied with a power play goal of their own at 6:54, Zach Manns finding twine with a bullet from the dotted line.  Dylan Watson put the Northmen up again at 10:03, again with the man advantage, this one a hard, low shot from outside the dotted line.  The Rocks would finish the first period scoring with a pair of goals, both at even strength.  First it was Patrick Dodds, getting in close at 14:31 and Manns then picked up his second of the game at 17:04, after a power play had expired, a shot that went low to high to beat Hartley.  Shots after 20 minutes were 17-11 for Orangeville but Victoria held the slim 3-2 lead on the scoreboard.

The Northmen went on a 4-goal run to start period 2, Kyle Watters getting things started at 3:39 going to the net.  Donville then rattled off 3 straight, beginning at 5:42 through a screen in front of Dunkerley.  He added his third at 8:48 from outside the dotted line and for good measure, got on a run and scored at 9:56 with the teams playing 4-on-4.  That made it 6-3 for Orangeville but Victoria came back with a pair, the first at 17:02 off the stick of Manns, his hat trick marker with a shot from way way out and 2 seconds left on the 30-second shot clock.  Caleb Kueber then got the Rocks within a goal on a transition run at the 18-minute mark, gathering in a long pass from Denton Macdonald in the Shamrocks crease.  Shots on goal were 24-15 for Orangeville and they held a slim 1-goal lead heading into the final 20 minutes.

It took just 10 seconds for the Northmen to extend their lead, Mike mccannell tallying with a low shot in close.  At 5:50 Watters picked up his second of the game on a play that looked like a crease infraction.  Ty Thompson made it 9-5 at 10:59, a goal that Dunkerley got a piece of.  Watters got the hat trick at 12:45 and Zack Deaken made it 11-5 with Dunkerley trying to get back to the net after being pulled for the extra attacker.  The Shamrocks now have their back to the wall as they go into game 3 Friday, hoping to prolong the series.

Leading the way offensively for the Rocks was Zach Manns with the hat trick.  Patrick Dodds had a goal and 1 helper while Caleb Kueber had the other Victoria marker and both Brayden Brown and Austin Madronic chipped in 2 assists.  Cam Dunkerley made 45 saves as the Rocks were outshot 56-41.

For the Northmen it was Jonathon Donville with 4 goals and Kyle Watters with the hat trick.

Game 3 is Friday and a Victoria victory would force game 4 which would take place Sunday with Saturday being a day off.