The Armstrong Shamrocks are guaranteed home-floor advantage in the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League playoffs.
Brett Hawrys pocketed 5+1 as the Shamrocks ambushed the Kelowna Raiders 20-6 Friday night at Memorial Arena. Armstrong also locked up first place at 6-0.
Brennan Plante, defender-turned-offensive star, scored his first of four as the Shamrocks led 6-2 after the first period.
Cameron Nelson made a nifty spin move on a defender and ripped a shot top cheese to open the scoring in the second period. Jamie Cockerill went coast-to-coast and scored on his off-stick side to make it 9-3. Jarrett Medhurst had a breakout game providing his second on a slash to the net which gave the two-time defending champions a 13-3 lead after two periods.
Armstrong’s stifling physical defense was too much for the Raiders as they shut the door in front of a solid performance from No. 1 goalie Kody O’Brien. The Shamrocks rattled off six unanswered goals in the last 10 minutes, including the 20th from Plante with only two seconds left.
“It was one of those games where everyone contributed and came to play,” said Irish captain Steve Clark, who supplied 1+4. “We didn’t play our best against them last time at home but we really brought it tonight.”
Shamrocks coach Ryan Nitchie felt it was one of the best tilts he’s ever seen the Rocks play.
“We challenged ourselves with three goals tonight and exceeded all of them. Our penalty minutes were less than targeted, our goals against exceeded our target and our goals for exceeded our target so it’s fair to say we played exceptionally well.”
Medhurst and Nelson each finished with 2+2, while Will Hanley and Kyle Versteeg counted 2+1 apiece and Aaron Green added one.
The Shamrocks have two regular-season games remaining: Friday, June 16 in Kamloops versus the 1-3-2 Rattlers and Friday, June 23 in Kamloops.
Meanwhile, the Junior Shamrocks trimmed the South Okanagan Flames 15-14 Monday night at Penticton Memorial Arena.
Tyler Chartier netted 4+1, while captain Marlon Forrest earned 3+5 and Nick Yadernuk added 3+3 for the Shamrocks, who share third place with the Flames at 5-4-1.
Brayden Hoggarth and Sam Hanley each chipped in with 2+3, while Nik Luttmerding added a single in front of Connor Senn.
Levi Thompson garnered 5+1 for South Okanagan, who held period leads of 7-3 and 11-8.
The Shamrocks parlayed 3+3 from Yadernuk into an 11-8 upset over the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Hanley also rang up a hat trick for the Shamrocks, who led 3-2 and 7-3 by period scores.
Hoggarth earned 2+2, while Forrest collected 1+8, Chartier had 1+2 andLuttmerding also scored once in support of Senn.
Steel Pelletier garnered 4+2 for the first-place Tigers, while Brett Olsen bagged 3+3 and Midget call-up Caden Colmorgen produced a single in front of Darnell Hauca. Jake Pelletier provided three assists.
The Tigers host the second-place Kamloops Venom (7-3) tonight at Kal Tire Place. The Venom shelled Kelowna Raiders 27-4 Monday night.