Although the Victoria Shamrocks nailed down a seat in the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs, who they will play is a game of musical chairs.
The Shamrocks made certain they will take part in the postseason with a pair of wins on the weekend that included a 14-2 drubbing of the Coquitlam Adanacs on Friday, followed by 12-8 decision over the Burnaby Lakers on Sunday. Both games were played at home inside the friendly confines of The Q Centre.
Whether Victoria finishes first, fourth or somewhere in between, however, won’t be determined until the team completes the regular season schedule with a pair of road games Thursday against the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Saturday in Coquitlam.
“You would have to be an economist or a mathematician to figure out the seedings or where we’ll wind up at this point,” said Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch. “We still have a chance at first, and we can make it easy on ourselves by just winning both games. That’s all we can control. If we go out and play our game both nights we’ll be successful.”
Welch was more than pleased with the way the team responded after a start that included one win and four defeats, complicated by the loss of Rhys Duch and Casey Jackson to season-ending injuries, and goalie Aaron Bold to unforeseen circumstances. “If you had predicted that we’d be the first team to clinch a playoff spot after a one and four start, I would have said you’re crazy.”
“Rhys and Casey are key offensive guys,” Welch explained. “Our depth was really tested. If you told me going into this year that we would lose those three players and still be fighting for first place at this point, I would have thought that was impossible. It’s a testament to our depth and how guys have stepped up and seized the opportunity.”
The play of rookie Chris Bouchy, recently named as the team’s best rookie, has been exceptional, Walsh said. “He’s having a remarkable year and is third in the league with 33 goals. I expect him to the same and be named the WLA Rookie of the Year.”