Shamrocks captain Corey Small slips past a Lakers check thanks to handy positioning from teammate Chris Wardle during third period action at The Q Centre on Friday night. (Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff)

Corey Small leads the way in Victoria Shamrocks win

‘Rocks down Burnaby Lakers by 11-6 count

On Friday against the Burnaby Lakers, it took all of 13 minutes and change for Victoria Shamrocks forwards Rhys Duch and Corey Small to fall back into that familiar rhythm of pass, shoot, score.

“It just becomes second nature, knowing where he is on the floor and knowing where I am,” Small said of his longtime teammate.

At 13:53 Small set up Duch for his first of the season, last year’s Western Lacrosse Association MVP having missed the club’s opener last week, to erase an early goose egg and cut the Burnaby Lakers advantage to 2-1.

The ‘Rocks would score 10 of the game’s next 14 goals, including a 6-0 run beginning in the middle of the second frame, to cruise to an 11-6 win over a Lakers club that pushed them to seven games in last year’s playoffs.

Small put up 10 points, including four goals, while Duch managed four goals and two assists of his own.

The Shamrocks’ captain laughed when asked if there was a friendly rivalry for the team’s scoring lead between he and Duch.

“We don’t really think about it like that but obviously we push each other to be successful,” he said. “We’re the kind of guys who feed off each other. When one of us is having a good game so is the other guy.”

Chris Wardle potted two goals and Steve Higgs had the other to complete the scoring for the Shamrocks.

Cody Hagedorn made 26 saves on 32 shots, a quiet night compared to his counterpart in the Lakers’ net. Zak Boychuk faced a whopping 54 shots, making 43 saves.

‘Rocks head coach Bob Heyes didn’t appear to be concerned about the team’s slow start out of the gate.

“You want to start the game strong but sometimes it’s not there. Sometimes you wait for the game to come to you. The thing was, we built as the game went along, which was great,” he said.

The Shamrocks (2-0) will be back in action on the mainland on Thursday night against the New Westerminster Salmonbellies before turning home to host the Coquitlam Adanac on Friday night (June 2) at The Q Centre.

Twitter: @joelgazette

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