The Armstrong Shamrocks knew team discipline would play a big part in the outcome of the Shaw Cup Senior C lacrosse championships.
Their lack of it cost them Game 1 of the best-of-three set as they fell 13-10 to the host Kelowna Raiders Monday night at Memorial Arena.
Game 2 goes tonight (7:30) at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. If necessary, Game 3 will go Friday night, same time, in Kelowna.
Playing in Bikram yoga-like conditions Monday night, the Shamrocks, who accumulated 77 penalty minutes, got going early when Jarrett Medhurst buried the first of four goals.
The Raiders took the lead on powerplay goals by Jake Illichman and Jordan Innes, and another on a delayed penalty call by Luke Bailey.
“We made a few mistakes turning the ball over at bad times that led to goals, and we took way too many penalties,” said Armstrong coach Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell.
“The conditions were fairly brutal tonight in the Kelowna Arena. But aside from a few mistakes on our part, we won the 5-on-5 play tonight and the guys fought hard until the final horn.”
Singles by Armstrong’s Steve Clark, Medhurt and Milan Marcetta, and Kelowna’s Pho Heng had it tied at the break.
The lead changed hands several times in the second frame, with Kriss Yargeau, Thomas Belenger, Medhurst and Marcetta sparking the Shamrock attack. Bailey (2), Innes and Brian Jette handled Kelowna’s offence.
In the opening minute of the final period, Armstrong’s Devin Rodger earned a major and gross misconduct for a high hit on Kelowna’s Chris Phillips. On the ensuing powerplay, the Raiders clicked twice more on the man advantage.
The two teams then traded goals, with Marcetta and Medhurst capitalizing for the Shamrocks.
Down by a pair with four minutes to play, Armstrong was unable to convert on a on a 5-on-3 powerplay. The Raiders iced the game with an empty-netter in the final minute.