Shamrocks sweep Rattlers

Armstrong Shamrocks sweep Kamloops Rattlers to advance to the Shaw Cup Senior C lacrosse final.

The Armstrong Shamrocks are through to the Shaw Cup Senior C lacrosse final.

The Rocks completed a sweep of the host Kamloops Rattlers with a 7-5 win in Game 2 of their best-of-three set Friday night.

The old Memorial Arena was a sweat box, with temperatures in the high 30s sapping energy from both teams. However, they still managed to combine for 99 penalty minutes (65 to Armstrong).

The hosts opened the scoring on a long, outside shot by AJ Lockwood, his first of three on the night. Armstrong responded with snipes from Steve Clark and Devin Roger, who snapped a three-year goal drought.

Nathan Woldum connected for Kamloops on the powerplay, but the Shamrock offence then came alive, with Clark (2) and Jarrett Medhurst giving Armstrong a 5-2 lead at the break.

The second period had barely started when Russ McIntosh beat the Shamrock defence to add to the Rattlers’ total.

The rough stuff then started when the Rocks’ Milan Marcetta squared off against Nathan Woldum of the Rattlers. The two went back and forth, with Marcetta delivering a final upper cut before the referees broke it up. It was Marcetta’s fifth penalty of the night, which earned him an early shower.

With his scoring credentials firmly re-established, Roger put his hands to use in a heavyweight tilt with Kamloops’ Kevin Pakalla, earning a decision by landing the final blows and getting the takedown. He too earned an early exit from the game.

With Armstrong spending most of the second period in the box, Lockwood scored to make it 5-4 heading into the final frame.

With sauna-like conditions and short benches, the pace slowed in the third period. Medhurst and Lockwood swapped goals early in the frame. With Kamloops’ keeper Mike Smith (33 saves) pulled for an extra attacker, the Rocks’ Braydon Sanders tracked down a loose ball and set up Medhurst for an empty-netter with nine seconds to play.

“We pulled it out with only 10 runners at the end of the game,” Coach Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell

“I thought Jamie Cockerill ran a marathon out there tonight and played excellent defence. We left our short man unit out there a lot tonight and they all played very well, led by our goalie Chad (Pieper, 42 saves).”

The Rocks will face either the Kelowna Raiders or Vernon Tigers, who are tangling in the other semi.

Kelowna led the series 1-0 heading into Game 2 Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.