Rocks Trounce Saints
In their final regular season home game, the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks trounced the visiting Port Coquitlam Saints 14-3 at the Q Center Saturday. The same two teams will clash Sunday on the mainland to wrap up the regular season.
Starting goaltenders were Cam Dunkerley for Victoria and Calvin Hafner for the Saints. The Rocks opened the scoring at 1:14, Ben Preston connecting from the dotted line. They went up by 2 at 4:18 on Austin Madronic’s unassisted tally, going to the net. PoCo responded at 9:03 when Austin Wahl scored on a hard, low shot with the teams playing 4-on-4 but Victoria regained the 2 goal lead on the power play at 9:56 with Teioshontathe McComber’s goal on a quick stick from the side of the net. Before the period ended, the Saints would get a goal from Garrett Winter, that one coming at 15:58, a shot that Dunkerley got a piece of but couldn’t quite contain. That was how the period ended, the Rocks ahead 3-2 and Victoria outshooting the visitors by a slim 13-12 margin.
Period 2 saw Victoria’s special teams dominate as they scored 5 unanswered goals to run away with things. They started with 2 goals just 41 seconds apart, Madronic getting his second of the game at 2:13 with a shot from the dotted line. That goal came just 14 seconds into a Shamrocks power play on a 5-minute major. Zach Manns followed up at 2:54 with the second power play on that penalty, getting in close and dropping the shot down low. Penalties were a problem for the Saints as another power play goal for the Shamrocks, off the stick of Brayden Brown at 5:17 as he cut across in front made the score 6-2 for the home team. Preston collected his second at 7:01 with a quick stick from the side of the crease and Brown picked up is second at 13:42 after some great ball control in close and it was 8-2. That score held going into the final period as the Shamrocks again held the edge in shots by a 19-14 margin.
The Shamrocks continued their offensive barrage in the final frame, Max Wilson galloping down the floor to get in close and beat Hafner at the 6:29 mark. More special teams goals widened the gap but this time the shorthanded team found twine. Patrick Dodds scored unassisted at 8:39 with his team shorthanded and at 10:21 McComber picked up his second, also unassisted and also playing a man short. Jackson Boyd made it 12-2 for the Rocks with a bullet from outside the dotted line at 12:46 before PoCo finally managed to solve Dunkerley for the third time, Kyle Worsley connecting from the dotted lineat 13:26. Victoria added a couple more before the game ended, Manns picking up a shorthanded marker, his second goal of the game, at 14:57 and McComber getting his hat trick marker on a highlight one-handed tally at 18:56. Shots on goal favoured the Saints 16-11 but Dunkerley stood tall as Victoria was penalized 3 times in the period but did not give up a power play goal, instead scoring 3 shorthanded goals.
Teioshontathe McComber and Ben Preston each had 6-point nights to lead the Shamrocks with the former scoring the hat trick and adding 3 helpers and the latter contributing 2 goals and 4 assists. Austin Madronic chipped in 2 goals and 3 assists, Zach Manns 2 goals and 2 assists and Brayden Brown 2 goals and 1 helper. Jackson Boyd and Patrick Dodds each had a goal and an assist with Max Wilson adding the other. Cam Dunkerley made 39 saves to pick up the win. The victory pretty much clinches second place for the Shamrocks as mathematically they could end up in a tie with either New Westminster or Nanaimo depending on Sunday results but the Rocks hold the tie-breaker in both those series. The regular season wraps up Sunday as the Shamrocks travel to Port Coquitlam to face these same Saints while Nanaimo is in Delta and the Salmonbellies face the Langley Thunder.
Playoff dates and match-ups will be announced in the next few days.