The all-Island semifinal didn’t end up being all that close.
The Victoria Shamrocks defeated the Nanaimo Timbermen by a 10-4 score on Monday at Frank Crane Arena to sweep the Western Lacrosse Association semifinal series four games to none.
The Shamrocks led 3-0 after one period and the T-men weren’t able to capture any momentum.
“Our defence has been a strength all year, so we locked them down,” said Bob Heyes, Shamrocks coach. “The key tonight was being physical on defence and on offence, [taking] opportunity and shooting.”
He said his team’s goaltending was also key, with former T-men starter Pete Dubenski backstopping the Shamrocks to four straight wins.
“He did a phenomenal job all series long of making the saves that he has to make and making the saves to make sure Nanaimo didn’t get any momentum,” Heyes said.
Marshal King had two goals and four assists for the Shamrocks and Chris Boushy and Connor Robinson also scored twice. Tyler Pace, Jesse King, Larson Sundown and Steve Priolo were other scorers and Dubenski made 41 saves.
For the T-men, Gord Phillips, Jordan Gilles, Nick Finlay and Colton Clark scored and Charles Claxton made 37 saves.
Heyes said he gives “full credit” to the Timbermen for working hard all series and said he thought Nanaimo’s injuries, particularly to forward Chase Fraser and transition player Drew Belgrave, were hard on a team that doesn’t have a lot of depth.
“I’ll give it to Nanaimo, they fought hard all year to get where they are and if they don’t run into injury trouble, this series goes longer,” Heyes said.
The Shamrocks coach said the short series benefits his team as far as rest and healing but also with work schedules. He said his team is bruised up after playing a physical opponent and will regroup and get ready for the finals.
“It’s easy to learn lessons when you lose, but sometimes in the playoffs, the next morning when you’re waking up and you’re sore and you still won, those are great lessons to learn that, hey, what you did the night before really meant a lot about how you win every night,” Heyes said.
GAME ON … The Shamrocks will face either the Maple Ridge Burrards or the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the WLA finals; the Burrards lead the ’Bellies two games to one. Game 1 of the finals is Aug. 16 at Victoria’s Q Centre.