Jr. Shamrocks draw Salmonbellies for opening round of playoffs

Victoria Shamrocks enter as the final seed in the Jr. A lacrosse playoffs

Victoria junior Shamrocks player Conrad Chapman

Victoria junior Shamrocks player Conrad Chapman

Game 1: Saturday, July 14 at Queen's Park Arena - Start Time 5 p.m.Game 2: Sunday, July 15 at Panorama Arena - Start Time 5 p.m.Game 3: Tuesday, July 17 at Queen's Park Arena - Start Time 5 p.m. (If necessary)


Coach Larry Smeltzer wants to believe his team will come together in the playoffs.

The Victoria Shamrocks are the sixth and final seed to qualify for the B.C. Junior Lacrosse League postseason, drawing the third-place New Westminster Salmonbellies.

“(Hockey’s) Los Angeles Kings were the final seed and they (won the Stanley Cup),” Smeltzer said.

“Are we the Los Angeles of our league? We just need to come together at the right time.”

The stage is certainly set, as the Shamrocks will open the first-round series on the road against the Salmonbellies, 5 p.m. at Queen’s Park Arena on Saturday.

New West won all three meetings this year, 9-7 at Bear Mountain Arena, and 12-4 and 10-9 at Queen’s arena.

“It’s funny, we didn’t beat (New West) but we still hoped we would get them (in the playoffs),” Smeltzer said. “We feel they felt they were lucky to beat us. And the games are more predictable from our perspective.”

There is a lingering expectation that the core of this Shamrocks team, which won the 2010 provincial intermediate-A championship, will one day make a similar run at the junior A level.

But time is running out, as the core of the squad is 20 years old, and next year will be its last.

The team is talented offensively, second overall in goals scored with 209. There’s also been a series of tweaks to Smeltzer’s old-is-new-again system. To start the season, all players were responsible for offence and defence, as Smeltzer moved away from the current trend of the day, which is to lean heavily on specialized players. Instead, he emphasized fast breaks and taking advantage of the other team’s line changes.

The fast break has continued, but the Rocks now use a hybrid system of sorts.

“Sometimes we change it up period to period, and sometimes parts of (the new) system are quite hidden,” Smeltzer said. “But we’re tied for the most short handed goals (21), goalie (Cody Hagedorn) has 20 assists, and we’ve scored lots of goals on the breakout, so it’s there.”

The Shamrocks ended the regular season with a 14-11 road loss to the first-place Coquitlam Adanacs on Sunday.

Coquitlam put the Shamrocks under the gun from the start with a 7-1 lead in the first period. It looked like the Shamrocks had already lost when Brody Eastwood scored a hat trick and the Rocks stormed back to outscore the Adanacs 7-3 in the second period. The Adanacs’ lead slipped to 10-9 in the third period before they scored four more.

“It’s not uncommon for us, and we’re beyond panicking because of it, though sometimes we get in trouble,” Smeltzer said.

It’s not ideal, but isn’t from a lack of preparation, the coach added.

It also happened in the Rocks last game in New West. After two periods, New West led 9-4. The Rocks scored five goals in the third period and New West scored once to win the game.

“As the season went on we’ve pulled it together, and if we play our game plan we’ll be fine,” Smeltzer said.

Adam Brown, Brody Eastwood and Devon Casey finish the season as the sixth, seventh and ninth overall scorers in the league, respectively.

Transition player Jesse King will miss the first round of the playoffs with Team Canada at the under-19 world field lacrosse championships in Finland, July 12 to 21.

 

Just Posted

The City of Victoria is proposing a northern contraction from Haultain Street to Bay Street with a western contraction from Cook Street to Chambers Street for Fernwood. (Illustration/Google Maps)
Community association calls for input on Victoria boundary changes

City of Victoria proposes changes to neighbourhood borders

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

(Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Sooke Road reopens after gas leak at Colwood Corners

SD62 warns afternoon buses could be delayed

SIG
Policing amid pandemic challenging, says Sooke’s top cop

Mounties document reduction in property crime and impaired driving

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read