Armstrong Shamrocks rebound after blowout against Raiders

Armstrong Shamrocks stop Kamloops Venom 8-7 in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Friday at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Armstrong Shamrocks overcame a first-period deficit to brush back the Kamloops Venom 8-7 in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Down by a goal after one period, the third-place Shamrocks (3-6-2) outscored the last-place Venom (2-9-1) in the second period to take a 6-5 lead into the final frame.

Playing through an injury, Drew Hassard jumpstarted Armstrong’s attack with a deuce in the first period. Adding to the offence were Willy Hanley (2+2), Carston Schlaak (2), Conor Payne (1+2) and Brody Berg.

Cole McFarlane had a 35-save showing.

“He struggled a little bit at first, but after that he really kept the team in the game,” said Armstrong head coach Bryan Cope.

Brady Jorgensen, with 3+1, and Rob Peterson, with 1+4, led Kamloops’ attack.

The win came a day after the Rocks were shelled 17-7 by the host Kelowna Raiders at Memorial Arena. Cope called it one of the worst performances he has seen as a coach.

“Everything they could do wrong on the floor, they did,” said Cope. “And everything Kelowna shot went in the net.”

The first-place Raiders (9-1-1) raced out to a 13-0 first-period lead, after which Armstrong settled down.

Brendan Urban highlighted the Raider offence with five of his six goals coming in the first-period barrage. Veteran Scott Renner chipped in with 2+6.

Stephen Ringdal was Armstrong’s top threat with 2+2, with Payne (2), Hassard, Adam New and Berg rounding out the offence.

Cope said the Shamrocks’ mental preparation and on-floor intensity needs to improve if they want close the gap on the Raiders and second-place Vernon Source For Sports Tigers (8-2), who they face Wednesday in Armstrong.

“Our focus and intensity on loose balls hasn’t been there,” he said. “You give these guys four or five chances in a row, your defence is going to get tired and chances are the goalie will eventually let one in.”

The Tigers hosted the Flames Saturday night at Kal Tire Place, while the Raiders visited Kamloops.