News Gazette staff
The Junior Shamrocks took two on the chin over the weekend, dropping the first two games of a best of five playoff series to the Coquitlam Adanacs.
But head coach Terry Dennett says he has been impressed with the young ‘Rocks and their effort against the Adanacs, who dominated junior lacrosse in B.C. with 19 wins in 21 games after having won the Minto Cup in 2016.
“They’re a good junior lacrosse team … It’s a bit of an uphill battle. We’re definitely the underdogs,” he said, adding that each game is good experience for the future of his club, which has just a handful of graduating players on its roster.
The ‘Rocks held a 3-1 lead in the early going Sunday night at The Q Centre before the Adanacs scored six in a row in the middle frame on their way to a 14-5 victory in game two. Braylon Lumb led the way for Victoria with two goals and an assist. Marshall King impressed with four assists, and Nick Preston, Cameron Garlin and Skyler Wilson scored a goal each. Will Kinnaird dropped both games in net, facing 52 shots in Sunday’s game.
“We played a good couple of periods [in game 2]. The wheels fell off a bit and they got a couple of lucky goals and it went downhill from there,” Dennett said.
Despite a strong effort in the opener in Coquitlam on Saturday, the Shamrocks lost 14-10. They held their own in the third period, matching the Adanacs’ five goals, but couldn’t overcome earlier deficits of 4-2 and 9-5. King continued his strong play for Victoria with six points on four goals and two assists. Brad McCulley contributed a hat trick in the loss, with Daniel Smith and Lumb adding singles. Preston had a strong game as well with a goal and three helpers. The Shamrocks face elimination when they travel to Coquitlam Saturday for a 2 p.m. start.
“It’s one step at a time. The further we go in the playoffs the better experiences we’re going to have. I know our third year guys are hungry as well … they don’t want their junior career to end so they’re going to play with a lot of emotion on Saturday and a lot of heart,” Dennett said.
The Intermediate Shamrocks completed their regular season with a 13-10 loss on the road in Maple Ridge. Victoria finished in second place and will face the Nanaimo Timbermen in the playoffs. Playoff dates had yet to be released at the Gazette’s press deadline.
Both the intermediate and junior squads handed out their team awards this week. Cole Pickup earned MVP and top scoring honours for the junior club, while Danny Smith took home honours for top defensive player, most inspirational and most popular.
On the intermediate side, Jackson Boyd earned the team’s MVP award while Braden Brown was the team’s top scorer. Josh Wilson earned defensive honours.
-with files from Joel Tansey