Victoria Shamrocks draw first blood in playoff series

After closing the regular season with a whimper, the ‘Rocks responded with a 9-8 win in Burnaby

Any talk of a Victoria Shamrocks slump was wiped away last night in Burnaby.

The ‘Rocks, having lost their final three games entering the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs, took a 1-0 lead in their opening-round best-of-seven series with a 9-8 road win over the Lakers.

The club put any lingering concerns to rest in the game’s opening five minutes when Casey Jackson scored twice and Corey Small added another to spot them a 3-0 lead.

Burnaby responded with two early goals in the second frame before the Shamrocks went on another 3-0 run courtesy of goals from Josh Fagan, Cody Nass and Danny Smith.

In a game that saw each team ride hot then cold, the Lakers scored the next three goals to pull within one by the four-minute mark of the third.

Again, the ‘Rocks responded and again it was Jackson supplying the scoring. The Shamrocks star scored two more goals and Sheldon Burns added what would prove to be the game winner as the visitors took a 9-5 lead.

The Lakers scored three goals in the last five minutes, including two in the final 60 seconds, to make the Shamrocks sweat, but they failed to find the equalizer.

Jackson had an assist to go along with his four goals while Small had a goal and five assists.

Lakers attacker Robert Church had a game-high seven points.

Aaron Bold made 41 saves on 49 shots for the win.

The series continues with Game 2 on Saturday evening in Colwood. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette