The five-game series may be over but the Armstrong Shamrocks had to work a touch harder to put away the Kamloops Rattlers Friday night at Memorial Arena.
Brett Hawrys and Craig Bigsby each turned hat tricks as the Shamrocks brushed off the host Rattlers 9-6 in Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League play.
The demise of the Kelowna Raiders forced the Shamrocks and Rattlers to agree on playing a five-game total goal series for the Shaw Cup this season. Armstrong leads the series 4-0 and plans to compete in the provincial senior C championships in Maple Ridge in August.
“It was the most competitive game of the year the score was tied midway through the second,” said Shamrock playing-coach Chad Pieper, a goalie who has taken over from Ryan Nitchie due to personal reasons.
“Carston Schlaak was a beast out there. He made two no-look, behind the back over the shoulder passes being swarmed by three players, looking back towards me and hitting Hawrys right in the stick for two breakaway goals. I have never seen that pass before and saw it twice in one game. He also then blocked a howitzer, scooped up the loose ball and burned by everyone and scored a beauty on the breakaway. He was far and away the player of the game for the Shamrocks.”
Kamloops had their best player turnout of the year and trailed 3-2 and 6-3 by period scores. The Irish went up 9-3 before the Rattlers countered with fastbreak snipes by Chris Kerssens (2) and Jimmy Latin. Kerssens finished with four goals, while AJ Lockwood pocketed 1+2. Scott Helton and Jacob Brown each counted two assists.
Braydon Sanders and Steve Clark, a former Nanaimo senior A Timbermen like Hawrys, contributed singles for the Shamrocks, who host the Rattlers Friday, June 22 at Nor-Val Sports Centre.