Rocks Win Home Opener

by Janice Huckin

After dropping their season opener on the road last weekend, the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks defeated the Port Coquitlam Saints 8-6 in their home opener Saturday at the Q Centre.

Cam Dunkerley, recently arrived back in camp from Ontario, got his first start in goal for the Rocks while Calvin Hafner was between the pipes for the visitors.  It was actually the Saints jumping out to an early lead, Daniel Miller getting in close to tally at the 3-minute mark.  Victoria got that one back at 5:29, Patrick Dodds scoring on a quick stick in close.  With a delayed penalty about to be called on the Shamrocks, Jacob Dunbar gave PoCo the lead at 14:23 and that was all the scoring in the opening period.  Shots on goal were 21-17 in Victoria’s favour.

The Rocks got things going in period 2 with a pair of goals, the first off the stick of Casey Wilson at 2:28 with a hard shot from the dotted line.  Tier 1 call-up Jonathon Boyd gave the home team their first lead at 8:44 getting in close.  The Shamrocks got into some penalty trouble which allowed the Saints to score a couple of power play goals, the first from Jacob Patterson at 11:36 and then another from Aiden Murphy at 13:46 to go up by a 4-3 score.  That was when the Rocks took charge, scoring 3 straight to take a lead they would not relinquish.  Dodds picked up his second of the game unassisted at 14:05, getting to the net.  Veteran Ben Preston regained the lead for the Rocks on the power play at 15:49 from the dotted line and Garrett Wicks made it 6-4 Shamrocks at 18:07 on a run after a big save from Dunkerley.  PoCo managed to get one back before the buzzer, a shorthanded tally from Daylin Kellough with just 3 ticks left on the clock.  The Saints held the edge in shots on goal 17-15.

The final frame saw just 3 goals scored, Casey Wilson getting his second of the game at 4:38.  The teams then traded shorthanded goals, Ryan Johannson doing the damage for PoCo and Zach Manns returning the favour for the Shamrocks.  The home team dominated on the shot board, 17-8 over the final 20 minutes and 53-42 overall. 

Rookies Patrick Dodds and Casey Wilson led Victoria’s attack, each with a pair of goals and Dodds adding 2 assists.  Zach Manns had a 6 point night on a goal and 5 helpers with other goals coming from Jonathon Boyd, Ben Preston and Garrett Wicks.

The Shamrocks travelled to Coquitlam Sunday to face the defending League and Minto Cup Champion Adanacs.  The game was close throughout with the Shamrocks holding a 9-7 lead well into the third period before Coquitlam scored 5 goals in the final 6 minutes to take a 12-9 win over the boys in green.

Once again it was Patrick Dodds and Zach Manns leading the way for the Shamrocks, each with 6 points as Dodds scored 4 goals and 2 assists with Manns contributing 2 goals and 4 helpers.  Ben Preston chipped in 2 goals and 3 assists.

The Rocks return to the Q Center for a pair of games next weekend as they host the Langley Thunder Saturday and the Delta Islanders Sunday, both games beginning at 5:00 pm.  The Tier 1 Shamrocks, with a 3-1 record are also in action Saturday at the Q Center at 1:00 pm hosting the Delta Islanders.