The Armstrong Shamrocks stretched their Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League winning streak to five games by dispatching the Kamloops Rattlers 12-9 Sunday night at Memorial Arena.
With league-leading scorer Brett Hawrys sidelined serving a one-game suspension for a gross misconduct he received for throwing a ball at the Kelowna Raiders’ bench Friday night, the Shamrocks (5-0) scored by committee and their defence scored some spectacular shorthanded goals.
Cam Nelson opened the Irish scoring after picking up a juicy rebound on a shot by Brennan Plante. Milan Marcetta notched his first of three on the night with a sub shot from the point to make it 2-0.
Kamloops (1-3) then rattled off four straight goals with AJ Lockwood producing his first of five spectacular goals, falling and ripping a corker past starting goalie Josh Point.
JJ Woldum buried a knuckleball floater and then the Rattler powerplay converted for a 4-2 lead. Marcetta responsded on a delayed penalty to pull the Rocks within a goal.
Untimely penalties plagued the Shamrocks but last year’s MVP, Carston Schlaak, bowled over Lockwood while shorthanded and streaked down the floor and used a stylish dip and dangle move to beat Mike Smith and level the score.
That goal brought the Shamrocks bench to life as Brennan Plante picked up a rebound off the boards and scored before captain and former Nanaimo Senior A Timbermen Steve Clark ragged the ball for 20 seconds and split the defence before burying a beautiful backhander shorthanded to make it 6-4 Armstrong at the break.
The Shamrocks stuck early in the second after Braidy Webb stripped the ball and then used his speed and finesse to bury a breakaway goal five-hole on Smith.
Marcetta patiently waited with ball and fed a perfect pass to Clark on the crease for a quick stick one timer to make it 8-4.
Lockwood clicked on the powerplay but the Rocks answered back quickly when Jarrett Medhurst ripped a low sub shot into the bottom corner. Lockwood connected on a fast break off a bad line change by the Shamrocks but Schlaak then recorded another shortie to give the Rocks a 10-6 lead after 40 minutes.
Marcetta completed his hat trick on the powerplay and then the Shamrocks went into cruise control. Lockwood scored twice and Ethan Anderson clicked to pull the Rattlers within a deuce, but Kyle Versteeg scored with a bad ankle dip and dunk to finish the scoring.
“Despite the penalty trouble tonight we played a solid team game at both ends of the floor – very happy to see Josh Point get his first win on his first start as a Senior Shamrock. He played exceptionally well for us” said Armstrong head coach Ryan Nitchie.
“We got some stellar play from our defence tonight. Austin Lewarne, Carston Schlaak and Cam Nelson were outstanding but the entire defensive unit was exceptional” added Nitchie.
“Offensively we scored some nice goals and showed good patience with the ball to get quality scoring chances. Milan had a great game tonight.”
Webb and JJ Woldum were tossed for an uneventful fight at 3:02 of the third period.
The Rocks visit the 1-4 Raiders Friday night at Memorial Arena.