It’s been a long time since four different Armstrong Shamrocks had hat tricks in a game.
Brett Hawrys scored seven goals – a double hatty plus one – and added four assists, Owen Barker had 4+5, and Jarrett Medhurst and captain Steve Clark had three apiece as the Shamrocks rolled over the hometown Kelowna Raiders 19-6 in Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League action Wednesday at Memorial Arena.
The two teams complete the home-and-home Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
“This is a very special team with lethal fire power on the offensive end and bone-crushing physicality and quickness on the defensive end,” said Armstrong GM and coach Ryan Nitchie. “We continue to build in all aspects of the game. Our transition game was exceptional tonight and our team speed at both ends is hard to match.”
Josh Point replaced starting goalie Kody O’Brien midway through the second period and shut the door on the Raiders in front of a wall of defence led by Carston Schlaak, Jamie Cockerill and Austin Lewarne.
The Shamrocks were assessed five minor penalties in the first two minutes but an impressive shorthanded five-on-three performance by Lewarne, Cam Nelson and Cockerill, and backstopped by a solid performance by O’Brien, held the Raiders off the scoreboard.
Armstrong led 5-4 after one period and 13-5 heading into the third.
The pulsating zone defence stymied the Raiders’ shooters with pressure all night long. Brandon Northcott and Blake Fredrickson policed the back end like sentinels while the youthful legs of Lewarne, Nelson and Schlaak frustrated the Raiders to no end.
“It’s so much fun to play with these skilled young guys, we move the ball on a rope and we are all working to do our jobs at both ends of the bench,” said Clark.
Sledgehammer player of the game went to Milan Marcetta who ran roughshod at both ends of the floor, filling in on defence given the slightly short bench for the Shamrocks who had 16 runners for the game.