Rocks Win Game 1 of Island Series

by Janice Huckin

It was a home game for the Victoria Junior ‘A’ Shamrocks at the Island Savings Center in Duncan Wednesday and the Rocks handed their island rivals, the Nanaimo Timbermen, their first loss of the season with a 15-8 victory.

The T’Men had gotten off to a 4-0 start to begin the season while the Rocks have had a bit of a roller coaster start but the motivation to win is always there with these two teams.  Colin Jeffrey got the start for Nanaimo with Cam Dunkerley between the pipes for the Shamrocks.  It was Victoria getting on the board first, Austin Madronic tallying just 38 seconds in, going to the net.  Nanaimo replied quickly, Ryan Sheridan finding twine at the 1-minute mark.  After that, it was all Rocks in the opening frame as they scored 6 unanswered goals.  Ben Preston, continuing a fine season put Victoria ahead at 7:56.  He added his second of the game at 9:32 with a delayed penalty about to be called on Nanaimo and an extra attacker on the floor.  Rookie Patrick Dodds made it 4-1 just 10 seconds later from the dotted line and picked up his second at 11:44 on a transition break, taking a pass from Denton Macdonald.  At 15:41 Brian Robb extended the lead to 5 goals picking up a great pass on the run to beat Jeffrey and before the period ended, Casey Wilson, with the goaltender off for the extra attacker made it 7-1 at 19:58.  Shots on goal favoured the home team Shamrocks 19-12.

If the Shamrocks thought it was going to be easy, the Timbermen had other ideas as they came out flying in period 2 and outscored their opponents 5-2.  They started with a 3-goal run, the first coming at 3:29 on the power play, Thomas Vaesen tallying from outside the dotted line.  He picked up his second of the game at 4:18, getting in close and Arthur Miller closed the gap to 7-4 at 6:36.  Victoria started to find the range again, getting the next 2 goals.  The first was Dodds’ hat trick marker at 9:35 from just inside the dotted line and then Preston picked up his third, on the power play, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play at 14:27.  Nanaimo got a pair back before the intermission, Colten Lidstone scoring at 15:15, getting in close late in the 30-second window and adding his second of the game at 17:59, that goal coming with the man advantage.  That sent the teams to the dressing room with the Shamrocks holding on to a 9-6 lead after 40 minutes.

The third period was again dominated by the Rocks, as they outscored the T’Men 6-2, beginning with Madronic’s 2nd and 3rd of the game as he tallied at 1:32 with a bullet from the dotted line and followed up with another at 5:25, moving laterally outside the dotted line.  Nanaimo got one back off the stick of Cole Christaens at 9:17, getting in close but undisciplined play on the part of the Timbermen led to 3 more power play goals for the Shamrocks.  Dodds got his fourth at 12:56 with a quick stick from the side of the crease.  Caleb Kueber added another just 22 seconds later with a hard shot from the dotted line.  Madronic then added his fourth of the game at 14:38.  Nanaimo’s Miller got his second of the game at 15:39, going to the net but Preston rounded out Victoria’s attack with his fourth goal of the game at 16:27 to provide the margin of victory.  Again the Shamrocks held a big edge in shots on goal, 19-11 in the period and 51-37 overall.

Victoria got big offensive performances from Patrick Dodds (4 goals, 6 assists), Ben Preston (4 goals, 5 assists), Austin Madronic in his first game since returning from school (4 goals, 1 assist).  League scoring leader Zach Manns had 8 assists to pad his lead while singles came from Caleb Kueber, Brian Robb and Casey Wilson.  Cameron Dunkerley made 29 saves to pick up the win.

The result leaves Victoria with 10 points, 2 points behind both the Langley Thunder and Coquitlam Adanacs who are tied for top spot.  The Timbermen are 2 points behind but hold 3 games in hand.

Next action for the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks is Saturday, May 25 at 5:00 pm when they will host the last-place Burnaby Lakers at the Q Center.  The Tier 1 Shamrocks are in action prior to that as they take on the Richmond Roadrunners at 1:00 pm.