The Victoria Shamrocks have put the Nanaimo Timbermen on the brink in an Island rivalry playoff series.
The Shamrocks scored a 12-7 win against the T-men in Game 4 on Tuesday at Nanaimo’s Frank Crane Arena, and Victoria now leads the best-of-seven WLA semifinal series three games to one.
The game turned early in the second period, when the Shamrocks scored three power-play goals in a three-and-a-half minute stretch as part of a 5-0 run that turned a 3-3 score into an 8-3 margin.
“They draw penalties well … and unfortunately we get into it,” said Kaleb Toth, Timbermen coach. “So we’ve got to be better, we’ve got to be more disciplined but we’ve still got to play with with an edge, we’ve got to play tough and we didn’t tonight.”
Bob Heyes, Shamrocks coach, said his team got scoring from different sources and got to both Timbermen goalies.
“We had the lead and they couldn’t find any momentum in the third period and they couldn’t answer,” said Heyes. “Our team is getting better and better at finding out what it takes to win at this time of year.”
Victoria now has home-floor advantage to try to advance, but knows from experience that it can be hard to close out a series.
“I expect Nanaimo not to quit,” Heyes said. “They’ve had a good season, so we expect to see their best game and for us, we’ll be ready for that challenge.”
Jake Emms, T-men alternate captain, pointed out that his team had a six-game win streak during the regular season and knows it can get momentum back on its side.
“I think we can do it again if we just focus on our game plan and get back working hard,” he said.
Emms said his team needs to go into the next game feeling positive, but also feeling motivated.
“Especially when those guys get cocky like that, we just have to come back and fight and realize that a team that’s going to outwork the other team is going to be the winner in this series,” he said.
Toth said the coaching staff will come up with a game plan to give players the best chance to win, but said from there, it’s up to them.
“They have to be prepared and they have to play desperate,” said Toth. “It comes down to being accountable, it comes down to working hard and it comes down to being intelligent.”
In Tuesday’s game, Colton Clark scored twice for Nanaimo and Dane Sorensen, Chase Fraser, Tyson Roe, Evan Messenger and Brody Eastwood also tallied. Charles Claxton and Mike DiGirolamo split time in the crease.
For the Shamrocks, Jesse King had three goals and three assists, Rob Hellyer had three goals and two helpers and Chris Wardle scored twice. Adam Shute made 36 saves for the win.
GAME ON … The Timbermen and Shamrocks play Game 5 on Friday, Aug. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Victoria’s Q Centre. Game 6, if necessary, will be Sunday, Aug. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena.