The Armstrong Shamrocks knew they were in for a tough game with only 13 runners, but overcame the odds to pull out a 5-4 comeback win over the host Kamloops Rattlers Friday night at Memorial Arena.
The Rattlers opened the Okanagan X-treme Lacrosse League tilt by scoring a minute into the game when Ryan Kurzak capitalized on a Shamrock turnover.
League scoring leader Steve Clark equalized with a power play goal later in the first.
The Rattlers’ Rylan Derose and Shamrocks’ Dan Giger traded goals in the second period, but Armstrong got into penalty trouble later in the frame. Sometimes down by two men, they were able to kill off most of the last nine minutes of the period, but Kamloops’ Nate Woldum buried a buzzer-beater to give his team a 3-2 lead going into the third period.
Shaun Koenig, on a nice outside shot, pulled Armstrong even in the third, only to have former Shamrock AJ Lockwood reply for Kamloops on a nice pick and roll.
Running on fumes, the Rocks equalized yet again on Giger’s second of the night, and took the lead with four minutes remaining when Chad Pounder scored on a nice solo effort, beating netminder Mike Smith in close.
Chad Pieper made 38 saves for the win, Smith had a 35-save night for Kamloops.
Said Pieper: “I was very proud of our defence tonight. They didn’t have much time to rest but they worked their butts off and it was a great reward to win the game.”
Added Pounder: “It was nice finally to get a win in this barn. We didn’t have much luck last year with us losing two games 2-1.”
The Shamrocks host the back end of a doubleheader against the Rattlers Friday night, 8 p.m. at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Meanwhile, the Vernon Sr. Tigers fell 18-11 to the Kelowna Raiders Friday night at Kelowna Memorial Arena.
“It sounds worse that it was,” said head coach Lawrie Skolrood, noting the Cats had just 11 runners because of illness, injury and work commitments.
“There’s no doubt we have work to do, but all in all I can’t be too hard on them. We won the third period, which was a nice surprise. The guys pushed hard for it.”
Robbie Short led the Tigers with 3+2, while junior call-up Kasmer Boudreaux added 2+1.
Skolrood is expecting four more bodies back in the lineup for the Tiger’s home opener against the Raiders Friday night at Wesbild Centre.
n James Campen scored twice as the North Okanagan Legends clipped the Kamloops Rattlers 3-2 in Midget B play Wednesday night.
Samuel Hanley also scored for the Legends, who got clutch goaltending from Alex Tomiak and strong defence from Wyatt Tarr.
The Nor-Val Rentals North Okanagan Pee Wee A2 Legends stopped host Kamloops 11-4 Wednesday night at McArthur Island Sports Centre.
Jayden Hunter supplied 4+1 for the Pee Wee crew, while Brady Marzocco and Jake Pelletier each scored twice and singles went to Niklas Luttmerding, Riley Swiscoski and Conor Webb. Assists came from Jaxson Cummings, Dawson Boyce, Chase Bronson, Nicholas Mann and Chase Wirth
“The kids are showing a really great work ethic to start the season,” said coach Harold Mann. “They seem to know and understand what they need to work on and do so each and every practice.”