After dropping three consecutive one-goal games, the Armstrong Shamrocks found themselves on the right side of the scoreline with a 7-5 comeback win over the Vernon Tigers Friday night at Wesbild Centre.
First star Jarrett Medhurst fired a hat trick for the Irish, who end the Okanagan X-treme Lacrosse League regular season at 6-6.
The Tigers, now 5-6, end their schedule Wednesday by hosting the Kamloops Rattlers, also 5-6, at Wesbild.
Rob Short supplied both goals, the second on a powerplay, as the Tigers stormed out to a 2-0 lead after the first period.
Vernon went up 4-2 after two periods as Andrew Hamilton and Short, with his hat trick goal, found the net for the Cats. Chad Pounder and Medhurst, on a 5-on-3 with seven seconds remaining in the period, answered for the Rocks.
Theo Wagner gave Vernon a 5-2 lead three minutes into the third, but it was all Armstrong after that as they stormed back with five unanswered goals, four coming in a five-minute stretch in the middle of the period. Second star Logan Strohm (1+3) and Medhurst helped ignite the Armstrong attack with great goals on fast breaks.
Thomas Belenger, Kriss Yargeau and Medhurt completed the rally.
“I think it just came down to numbers. We had a couple guys banged up and at the end there we just ran out of gas. Other than that it was a good game. As soon as we get more guys out, we can beat any team in this league any night,” said Short.
Shamrocks’ keeper Chad Pieper (34 stops) credited his counterpart, Glen Clissold (58 saves), for helping Vernon preserve the early lead.
“We ran into a hot goalie for two periods, but in the third we could see their legs starting to go and we started putting the ball in the net. To score five in a row, it’s a pretty good feeling,” said Pieper.
Meanwhile, the host Kelowna Raiders secured first place with a 7-6 comeback win over the Rattlers Friday night at Memorial Arena.
After building a solid lead early in the first period, Kelowna (7-5) fell behind after they started taking undisciplined penalties.
Trailing until the final minutes of the game, captain Kyle MacLennan scored with less than two minutes to go, followed by Luke Bailey’s equalizer shortly after.
Steve Plasko buried the winner with less than 30 seconds to play.