The Armstrong Shamrocks used a six-goal outburst in the third period to bounce the Vernon Tigers 9-3 in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Wednesday night at Wesbild Centre.
Leading 3-2 after 40 minutes, the Shamrocks, now second overall at 3-3-1, used a deuce from Brett Hawrys and singles by Carston Schlaak, Corey Deboer, Cullen Rowan (2+1) and Owen Barker to seal the win.
Hawrys, who finished with three goals, is second overall in league scoring with 18 goals and 10 assists for 28 points in seven games.
“Good first period, we went to sleep a little in the second, and we came out and turned it on in the third,” said Armstrong head coach Pat Nelson.
“Our defence played well, our offence was moving and we transitioned the ball well. One of the things we wanted to work on was moving the ball out of our end to give us more time on offence.”
At the other end, Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton credited his team for two periods of solid play, but was far from thrilled with the final frame.
“In the third period we went to sleep and they capitalized on our mistakes,” he said. “If recliners were legal on the bench, I would have brought a few in to make sure our guys were comfortable while they took the night off.”
After starting the season with three straight wins, the 3-2 Tigers have dropped their last two. Veteran Brennan Plante, who scored in the second period (Craig Bigsby and Darrell Landels had the other Vernon tallies) says it is partially due to a lack of offence.
“We just got into a scoring slump,” said Plante, whose older brother, Tyler, plays with the senior Tigers. “Over the last two or three years we’ve been averaging 10 goals a game, so to score three is unacceptable.”
The Rocks’ Stephen Ringdal and Barker each finished with a goal and three helpers, and Joel Castle supplied three assists in support of Cole McFarlane (36 saves).
Brumpton pulled netminder Josh Point with eight minutes remaining in the third period. He explained the decision was made to rest his starter for Vernon’s Thursday-night tilt against the league-leading Kelowna Raiders (6-1), and to give backup Steve Deshane some floor time.
“There was only so much you can do when the wall comes down in front of you,” said Brumpton, of Point’s play.
The Shamrocks, who have yet to win at Nor-Val Sports Centre, begin a three-game home stand starting Saturday night against the 2-4-1 Kamloops Venom.
“We seem to be doing a little bit better on the road, but I think things are about to change,” said Nelson.