Shamrocks brush off Rattlers

Senior C lacrosse play in Armstrong

The Armstrong Shamrocks extended their Senior C lacrosse unbeaten streak to 16 games with a 9-5 win over the Kamloops Rattlers Friday night at Nor-Val Sport Centre.

Jarrett Medhurst opened the scoring with his first of the year on a slick give-and-go with Steve McIlwrath. Captain Steve Clark potted his first of two by rifling a cannon off the backboards and grabbing his own rebound. Clark lamented after the play that he should have been credited with the assist as well.

Brett Hawrys and rookie Sam Hanley ran a textbook pick-and-roll to make it 3-0.

Kamloops responded but Clark ripped a low sub-shot and McIlwrath sniped a top-cheese shot from the point on the power play to make it 5-1.

A minor tussle occurred at the end of the first and the Shamrocks were assessed their only penalty of the game which gave the Rattlers the power play for four minutes to start the second period.

The Rattlers recorded two goals early in the second with Kyle McIntosh scoring his first of two and all-star forward AJ Lockwood doing his patented low-crease dive play to make the score 5-3.

Hanley scored his first as a Shamrock with a blistering shot from the shooter position. The Shamrocks led 6-3 after two periods.

Armstrong played inspired lacrosse in the third period led by Clark, who fired a ball low on Rattlers’ goalie Scott Helton after the Rocks showed some impressive ball movement that spun the defence in several directions. Kyle Versteeg used a fantastic deke-and-dunk technique to score over Helton’s shoulder for an 8-3 lead.

McIlwrath popped his second of the night picking the top left corner before the Rattlers added two late snipes.

“We did some nice things offensively tonight,” said Shamrocks’ coach Ryan Nitchie. “We had a few different guys in the lineup who haven’t played much together. It was excellent to see Sam Hanley get his first and Marlon (Forrest) played strong as well.

“We moved the ball around to perfection at times but we have to give credit to the Kamloops defence that played much better, and their goalie has been playing exceptionally well for them. I was really pleased with our team discipline which says that the guys are really buying into the team philosophy,” said Nitchie.

Added Clark: “We struggled a little bit with the officials’ interpretation of moving picks and screens and needed to adjust our system which was a little frustrating but something we have to learn to play through — those calls really interrupted the flow at times which we strive to maintain, as a quick rhythm and fast pace is key to our game.”

The Shamrocks host the Rattlers Friday, June 1 (8 p.m.) when they will unveil their new uniforms which were generously sponsored by Nor-Val Rentals and Stuart Williamson of MASS Consulting.

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