Rocks Win on Alumni Day

by Janice Huckin

It’s been a while since the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks last played at the Q Centre but Saturday, on Alumni Day the Rocks celebrated with a hard-fought win over the visiting Delta Islanders.  The Shamrocks led 4-2 after the first, saw the Islanders tie things up at 7 going into the second intermission but the home team prevailed 6-1 over the final 20 minutes to come away with a 13-8 victory.

The Rocks wore special retro jerseys celebrating the three Minto Cup winning teams from Victoria and it was Ryan Atkinson getting the start in goal while Brody Harris took up his position between the pipes at the other end of the rink.  The home team got things started at the 2:50 mark of the opening frame with Patrick Dodds’ goal as he got in close.  Owen Russell made it 2-0, going to the net and beating Harris at 3:31.  Delta replied with a pair, both off the stick of Haiden Dickson, the first coming on the power play at 6:14 and then another at even strength at 8:18 to tie the score at 2.  Victoria responded with a quick pair just a few minutes later as Brayden Brown tallied at 11:56, again going to the net and Liam Phillips opened up a 2-goal lead grabbing a quick pass right in front at 12:49.  That was all the scoring in the first period as the Rocks outshot the visitors 19-14.

Victoria again opened the scoring in period 2, Ben Preston tallying just 19 seconds in as he got in close.  Delta, however, replied with 3 straight to tie the score, the first coming from Mark Yingling off a rebound with Atkinson down at 1:07.  Jared Moloci followed that up with a power play marker at 2:13 with a hard shot from outside the dotted line and Arjan Singh knotted the score at 5 with a goal at 5:06.  The Shamrocks stopped the momentum with a power play goal at 10:15, Brown picking up his second after some great ball control in the offensive zone and Casey Wilson once again restored a 2-goal lead at 13:10 from the dotted line.  The visitors, despite having a short bench, came back with a pair to end the period as Reilly Merritt scoredl at 13:45 with a hard, low shot from the dotted line and Moloci picked up his second at 15:44 again from well out.  That ended the second period with the teams tied at 7 and Victoria holding the edge in shots on goal by a 21-13 margin.

Delta actually took their first and only lead of the game early in the final period, Dickson getting his hat trick goal of the game at 4:53 from just inside the dotted line.  That was all the Islanders would get as the Shamrocks roared back to score the final 6 goals of the game.  Brown collected his hat trick marker at 7:16 with a quick stick in front and Zach Manns added an unassisted goal at 7:40 off the faceoff on a run, that proving to be the winning goal.  Defender Nick Murray got in on the scoring action at 9:03 after a prolonged Victoria possession, Phillips added his second of the contest at 11:33 on a run to make it 11-7.  Manns picked up his second goal of the game at 12:29 and Dodds also collected his second at 13:56 getting a good bounce off a rebound in front to round out the scoring.  Again a big edge in shots on goal for Victoria at 21-10 in the period and 61-37 overall.

Leading the way for Victoria offensively was Zach Manns with 2 goals and 4 helpers.  Ben Preston and Patrick Dodds each had 4-point nights with a goal and 3 helpers and 2 goals/2 assists respectively.  Brayden Brown had the hat trick while Nick Murray picked up a goal and 2 assists with Liam Phillips chipping in 2 goals and an assist and singles coming from Owen Russell and Casey Wilson.  Ryan Atkinson made 29 saves to pick up the win in goal.

Next action for the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks is Sunday at the Q Centre when they host the league-leading Coquitlam Adanacs at 5:00 pm.  As the season nears completion, standings are very close atop the league.  Coquitlam leads with 28 points, having just lost twice so far this season.  Victoria sits in second with 22 points and New Westminster and Langley are just 2 points behind with Nanaimo fighting for the final playoff spot at 18 points but holding games in hand.