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Shamrocks even Shaw Cup series

They’re going back to the future Wednesday night (7:30) to settle the Shaw Cup best-of-three semifinal series.
Vernon Tigers’ Kasmer Boudreau looks for an opening while fending off Armstrong Shamrocks’ Milan Marcetta in Game 2 of the Shaw Cup senior men’s C lacrosse semifinal playoff series Thursday night at Wesbild Centre. Game 3 goes Wednesday in Armstrong.

They’re going back to the future Wednesday night (7:30) to settle the Shaw Cup best-of-three semifinal series.

Heated rivals Vernon Tigers and Armstrong Shamrocks will meet at golden oldie Hassen Arena which will be overflowing for the Okanagan X-treme Lacrosse League contest.

The two 6-6 teams, who are not Facebook friends, are going the limit after Armstrong grounded the Tigers 12-5 Thursday night at Wesbild Centre.

“We expect to have a large turnout on Wednesday, and with the game being in the Hassen, we expect it to fill up quick,” said Shamrocks’ goalie Chad Pieper, who was awesome in Game 2. “We have the best fans around, and we know they will be loud and proud.”

Pieper was not only a wall in net, but he was credited with a goal and two helpers.

Shamrock veteran Stu Williamson was assessed a match penalty for a crosscheck to Kaz Boudreau’s face with seven minutes left to play. The Tigers went with the extra attacker, but the strategy backfired when Bryan Cope’s hard shot missed the net and then took a couple bounces off the boards, only to have the ball roll all the way down the floor into his own net.

Pieper got the goal since he was the last Armstrong player to touch the ball.

“I have played a lot of years and once in a while you get a bounce that will go your way,” laughed Pieper. “I hope my team doesn’t start to rely on me too much for goal scoring or else we might be in a little trouble.”

Vernon veteran Steve Latimer, sidelined with a toe injury, said Pieper was in stellar form.

“Pieper had a great game. We outshot them (59-54) and he played like he can when he’s on. We have to get him moving to beat him.”

The Tigers expect to have rugged Ryan Minchenko and offensive threats Darin Holte and Andrew Hamilton back for Game 3.

“Armstrong plays an intimidation game and it works,” said Latimer. “It worked against us, so on Wednesday, we have to play our game and bring our skill and move the ball around.”

The game was close for two periods before the Rocks ran away with it in the third.

The Tigers opened the scoring when Tanner Skolrood picked up a rebound off the end boards and beat Pieper.

The Irish equalized a few minutes later when Steve Clark ripped a shot past Tigers’ netminder Glen Clissold.

Brett Logan made it 2-1 Armstrong, but on the next draw, Vernon got possession and Kirk Krause took a pass from behind the net and walked right in for the 2-2 goal.

The Rocks managed to take the lead into the dressing room when Jarrett Medhurst buried his first of five on the night.

The Tigers tied things early in the second when Chicago NLL draft Shane Sargent walked in all alone on a powerplay breakaway. He then deposited a rebound off the crossbar to put Vernon up 4-3.

The rest of the period was all Shamrocks, with Logan Strohm, Medhurst and Williamson finding the net.

The third period saw more of the same from the Shamrocks with Medhurst adding three more and Strohm and Milan Marcetta also converting.

“Our offence went out tonight and played a great game,” said Pieper. “Medhurst had a breakout game with his five tonight. Jarrett has struggled a bit this year (5-2-7 in five games)  but we all know how dangerous he can be when he gets on a roll.”

The Shamrocks took 30 penalty minutes and gave up four powerplay tallies.