Shamrocks Lose First Game, Fall to Bellies

On Thursday night the New Westminster Salmonbellies handed the Victoria Shamrocks their first loss of the season by defeating them 14-12 in overtime. With this win New Westminster ended their 3 game losing streak and improved their record to 4 -3 on the season. While Victoria with the loss fell to 5-1 on the season and suffered their first loss.

From the very beginning this game it became apparent that it would be an offensive duel. New Westminster opened the scoring with a goal by Martin Cummings and then quickly added another goal from Jordan McBride. Victoria fought back and scored 3 goals of their own in the first period but at the end of the period the score was 5-3 in favor of New Westminster. The second period was similar to the first as the two teams offenses continued to fire on all cylinders. Victoria began the second period by scoring 4 straight goals but New Westminster fought back and closed out the period by scoring 3 straight goals. The score after 2 periods was 8-7 in favor of New Westminster. In the third period the offenses continued to light up the net as New Westminster scored two goals to open up the period. The Shamrocks refused to break though as they scored 3 straight goals to force overtime. After 60 minutes the game was tied 10-10. In overtime New Westminster drew first blood on a goal by Kevin Crowley. Victoria quickly answered back on a goal by Jeff Shattler. Crowley would once again score for New Westminster and once again give them the edge. No less than 2 minutes later though Victoria answered back on a goal from Brock Armour. New Westminster finally was able to put Victoria away by scoring two straight goals. Ilija Gajic scored the game winner. New Westminster claimed the win 14-12 in overtime.

The biggest reason for New Westminster’s success was their ability to capitalize on the power play as they went 3 for 5 on the power play. New Westminster also received solid goaltending from Tyler Richards who stopped 41 of 53 shots on net and was able to finally find a way to shutdown Victoria in overtime. The New Westminster offense was lead by Ilija Gajic who had 3 goals and 5 assists on the night and was name first star of the game. New Westminster also received a standout performance from Jordan McBride who had 2 goals and 3 assists and was named third star of the game. New Westminster will be back in action on Sunday June 17 against the Nanaimo Timbermen.

Victoria did everything they could to win this game but fell just short of winning. Victoria played solid overall and was able to match New Westminster step for step. Victoria was able to find success on their power play as they went 4 for 6 on the man advantage. Victoria’s great play on the power play is what kept this game close as Victoria was able to catch up due to New Westminster being undisciplined and taking penalties. The top player for the Shamrocks was Ryan Benesch who had 4 goals and 4 assists on the night and was named second star of the game. Jeff Shattler was also impressive as he scored 4 goals and added 2 assists. Matt Flindell was also excellent for the Shamrocks as he stopped 38 of 52 shots. Victoria will be back in action on Friday June 15 against the Burnaby Lakers.