Timbermen Edge Shamrocks

by Janice Huckin

The Nanaimo Timbermen came into the Q Center Tuesday to face the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks in game 3 of the season series between the two island rivals.  The Rocks were hoping for a sweep but the T’Men held on for a 10-9 victory.  The visitors held period leads of 5-1 and 8-5 before Victoria made it close in the final 20 minutes.

Starting goaltenders were Cam Dunkerley for the home team and Justin Geddie for Nanaimo.  The visitors jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, the first goal coming just 26 seconds in from Ryan Sheridan as he got in close.  Arthur Miller made it 2-0 at 1:03 and that held up until Victoria solved Geddie at 9:41, Zach Manns scoring from the dotted line.  Nanaimo would add three more before the period ended, Jack Bowie scoring two of those, the first at 13:45 a shot that Dunkerley got a piece of and the second unassisted at 18:28 in close.  Graden Soucy closed out the first period scoring just 8 seconds later off the faceoff on a run.  Shots on goal were close with Nanaimo holding a slight 14-12 edge and a 5-1 lead on the scoreboard.

The Timbermen added to their lead early in period two with a shorthanded goal from Cole Christiaens at the 59-second mark.  The Shamrocks got a couple back, the first from Brayden Brown at 1:07 from the faceoff and Austin Madronic closed the gap to 3 at 8:13 from the dotted line.  Nanaimo replied at 10:24 Christiaens getting his second from outside the dotted line.  That signalled the end of the night for Dunkerley as he was replaced between the pipes by newly-acquired Brody Harris.  The T’Men extended the lead to 5 goals with Christiaens’ hat trick goal at 16:53 but Victoria added two goals to their side of the ledger before the period ended.  Ben Preston tallied unassisted at 17:18 with a rebound from the side of the crease and Patrick Dodds added another at 18:36 to make the score 8-5 after 40 minutes with Victoria outshooting the visitors 20-13 in the period.

The third period saw the Shamrocks gain momentum as they closed the gap to a single goal with the first two goals of the period.  Manns picked up his second of the contest at 2:45 from outside the dotted line after a prolonged Victoria possession.  Another recent acquisition picked up his fourth goal in just 2 games since arriving as Theioshondathe Mccomber tallied at 3:09.  The teams traded goals, Nanaimo getting an unassisted goal from Sheridan, his second of the game, at the 14-minute mark and Mccomber picking up his second, a shorthanded goal on an absolute bullet from way outside the dotted line at 15:52.  That was as close as the Rocks could get as Nanaimo added a power play goal from Sheridan at 16:16, Dodds closed the gap to a single goal again at 18:29 from outside the dotted line but a late Victoria penalty allowed Nanaimo to run out the clock and pick up the win.

Theioshondathe Mccomber had 2 goals and 2 assists to lead Victoria offensively while Austin Madronic also had a 4-point night on a goal and 3 helpers.  Zach Manns and Patrick Dodds each added a pair of goals with singles coming from Brayden Brown and Ben Preston.  Brody Harris, acquired from the Delta Islanders at the trade deadline was strong in relief of Cam Dunkerley in goal, allowing just 3 goals in 21 shots.

Standings are extremely tight as the season winds down with Coquitlam sitting at the top with 30 points.  Victoria and New Westminster are tied for second 4 points behind with Nanaimo sitting fourth 2 points behind them and Langley still alive with 20 points, all 5 teams having 2 games left in their respective regular seasons.

Next up for the Jr. ‘A’ Shamrocks is a home-and-away series this weekend.  They will host the Port Coquitlam Saints Saturday at the Q Center at 5:00 pm and make the return trip to the mainland Sunday.  Saturday will be Fan Appreciation Day with team photos and autographs available, special prizes and hopefully the playoff picture becoming clearer.