Shamrocks stuff Rattlers

The Armstrong Shamrocks are on a roll and savoring victory after several years of struggles in the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League.

Morning Star Staff

The Armstrong Shamrocks are on a roll and savoring victory after several years of struggles in the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League.

The Shamrocks stuffed the Kamloops Rattlers 19-7 in their home opener Saturday night at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, 24 hours after ambushing the defending Shaw Cup champion Kelowna Raiders 16-8.

The youthful Rocks seemed stronger on Day 2 of back to back games and got five goals and one assist from veteran Steve Clark, whose dyanmic outside shot was good for a first-period hat trick.

Rookie phenom Drew Hassard scored his first of three on the night, while Andrew Schwab potted two goals and singles went to Carston Schlaak and Jarret Medhurst as the Rocks took an 8-4 lead after 20 minutes.

Medhurst supplied two powerplay goals in the second period, one on a wired point pass from Clark which Medhurst buried with a quick stick. The second came on a juicy rebound quickly snagged by Medhurst.

Loose balls and hustle seemed to be the flavor of the day for the Shamrocks as their relentless pursuit of ground balls and punishing press seemed to stymie any offensive threat by the Rattlers.

Speedy Kas Boudreau scored on his third breakaway attempt of the game with a simple well placed overhand shot from just inside the dotted line. Medhurst ripped his fourth of the game and Kyle Versteeg converted on the powerplay goal. Drew Hassard and Clark added singles as the Irish broke things wide open to lead 15-7 after two periods.

The Shamrocks elected to play lock down defence in the third, getting a stellar performance from goalie Chad Pieper.

Hassard potted his first ever Senior hat trick goal while Schlaak, Versteeg and Clark added singles.

Coach Ryan Nitchie was impressed by his team’s resilience faced with two games in two nights.

“The power of youth and conditioning really shone through for us; we have smart players who really are letting the ball do the work and using their stick skills and keen lacrosse sense to make great plays and conserve energy,” said Nitchie.

Clark, who has Senior A experience, is enjoying the early-season success.

“We’re having fun winning as a team,” said Clark. “We’re making a conscious effort to play smart and disciplined lacrosse and it’s paying off with success.”

The reserved defensive specialist Sheldon Nelson was smiling following the game and said: “We like working as a unit to shut other teams down. We are trying to keep guys to the outside and limiting chances in tight to Peeps If they do get in close we shut the door really quickly”

The Shamrocks have a short break and return to action at home on Saturday, May 23 when they host the Raiders.