The Victoria Shamrocks will taken on the Maple Bridge Burrards in the Western Lacrosse Association finals, beginning Friday at The Q Centre. (Colleen Flanagan/Black Press)

Victoria Shamrocks open WLA finals at Q Centre in Colwood

Team is evenly matched in championship series against Maple Ridge Burrards

The Shamrocks will meet the Maple Ridge Burrards for the second consecutive year in the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) finals, which start Aug. 16 in Victoria.

To defeat the Burrards and return to the Mann Cup Championships in September, the team will be looking to play to their strengths and get off to a strong start early on Friday, particularly on the face off at 7 p.m., a release from the Shamrocks said.

“From the top of the roster down, it’s clear that this will be hard-fought series with both teams exceptionally evenly matched,” said the release.

READ MORE: Victoria Shamrocks head to WLA finals

Victoria finished the regular season in first place, sweeping the Nanaimo Timbermen in the first round of the playoffs.

Though Maple Ridge finished in second place, the team had the same number of points as Victoria at the end of the regular season.

Tyler Burton won 67 of 79 face offs in the first round for the Shamrocks, while Maple Ridge’s Reece Cailles won 36 of 75 in the last four games of their series against the New Westminster Salmonbellies.

Both teams are deep on offence with Tyler Pace (15 points in the first round), Jesse King (15), Chris Boushy (12), and Connor Robinson (11) leading the charge for Victoria. The Shamrocks’ defence will be looking to keep Dane Dobbie (26), Curtis Dickson (21), Ryan Keenan (20), Dan Taylor (12) and Ben McIntosh (12) away from the crease.

The Shamrocks have relied on Pete Dubenski in the crease their last four games, where he put up a league-leading 5.78 goals-against average and .879 save percentage. Frank Scigliano was projected to start the finals in goal for the Burrards, with an 8.46 goals-against average and .841 save rate, right behind Dubenski in goalie rankings.

READ MORE: Throwback Thursday — Shamrocks revisit the 1950s with new uniforms

After Friday, the finals will continue in Maple Ridge on Aug. 18 at 6 p.m., in Victoria on Aug. 20 at 6:30 p.m. and back in Maple Ridge on Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for the home games in Victoria are available at victoriashamrocks.com or at the Q Centre box office.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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