The Armstrong Shamrocks went into Kelowna on a two-week Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League break and it showed in their play.
The Shamrocks displayed a lot of rust early, eventually falling 12-3 to the host Raiders at Memorial Arena.
Armstrong, now 2-2, gave up five first-period goals, while netting a pair. Darren Kirby, on a nice dive across the crease, and Dan Giger, on the powerplay, handled the offence.
The 4-2 Raiders pushed their lead to 10-3 in the second frame, with the Shamrocks’ lone goal by Shaun Koenig.
Owen Siddall relieved Chad Pieper for the final period, and he responded with 15 minutes of shutout lacrosse before giving up a couple of late goals.
Shamrock head coach Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell was less than thrilled with his team’s execution.
“There’s no sense in me going in there yelling and screaming and having a tantrum,” he said. “I need to teach them what they need to do to be better and they have to follow that plan.
“There’s a lot of pride in that locker room and I know that they will respond and move forward.”
The Shamrocks entertain the 0-5 Vernon Tigers Friday night (7:30) at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Meanwhile, the Tigers were also victims of a slow start Friday night, bowing 10-4 to the Kamloops Rattlers at Wesbild Centre.
Similar to Armstrong, Vernon surrendered five first-period goals, only the 0-5 Cats didn’t respond. Brennan Plante, Kirk Krause and Kasmer Boudreaux, who also scored in the third frame, counted singles to help Vernon win the second period, but by then it was too late.
“We did not have a good first period at all,” said Vernon head coach Bryan Cope. “We had a really good second period but couldn’t finish the job in the third.”
Cope credited his young defence for playing a solid game in front of Ivor Sandaker, who played sick. However, he insisted the only way Vernon will break its slump is if the players stick with the systems.
“Everybody has got to know what everyone else is doing out there, instead of playing with their own agenda,” he said.
Mark Jurista was the main threat for the 4-1 Rattlers, with JJ Woldum supplying a goal and five helpers.
– In Junior B action, the Vernon Re/Max Tigers finally fielded a full lineup, but came up short in a 9-8 loss to the host Kelowna Raiders Thursday night at Memorial Arena.
Leading 6-5 after 40 minutes, the Tigers collapsed in the third period where they were outscored 4-2.
“We played very well for the first 30 minutes,” said Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton. “Halfway through the second period, half our team became passengers, basically waiting for somebody else to get the job done.
“We need to play with heart and determination, and ultimately we have to have the will and desire to win games. Without that drive and desperation, we’re just playing an individual game as opposed to being a unified group.
“We got good systems in place, and when they play them, they play them well. They shut teams down.”
Brumpton credited netminder Joel Fruncillo for helping Vernon(1-4) keep the lead heading into the second break. He praised the defensive efforts of Jake Soleway, Austin Lewarne and Ryan Oliverius, who were key in Vernon’s short man.
Bayne Bosquet led the Tigers with a pair of goals and two helpers. The Coldstream product recently returned from his freshman year as a defender with the Simon Fraser University Clan field lacrosse team, where he earned a PNCLL All-Conference honorable mention.
Ryan Landels pocketed 2+1, and Darryl Landels, Braden Barr, Nolan Frame and Ethan Anderson, a Kamloops player making his debut for the Cats, chipped in with singles.
Scott Renner and Brendan Urban each collected three goals for Kelowna (2-2-1).
Vernon’s Saturday game against the host Kamloops Venom was cancelled.
The Baby Shamrocks opened a home-and-home series against the South Okanagan Flames with an 11-11 draw Friday night at the Nor Val Sports Centre.
The 2-3-1 Flames scored early and often, with Chris Pond potting a hat trick in the first period to give his team a 7-2 lead. Owen Barker, with the first of three goals, and Brett Hawrys, with his first of four, countered for the 2-1-2 Irish.
Goals by Daniel Peterson, Barker and Hawrys made it 9-5 after 40 minutes, and carrying the momentum, the Shamrocks reeled off five straight goals in the third frame to take the lead with six minutes to play.
A powerplay goal by the Flames’ Mitch Walton tied the game, and Pond scored his fourth to give South Okanagan an 11-10 lead.
Armstrong assistant coach Adrien Lemaire called a timeout with 30 seconds to play, and the players executed on his designed play perfectly, with Barker banking his hat trick goal with 11 seconds left.
“We really found our legs in the third and we didn’t panic and just kept persevering and it paid off,” said Shamrocks’ head coach Pat Nelson.
The Shamrocks visit South Okanagan for a matinee today, and host the Cats Wednesday night (7:30).