A pair of sound defeats have the Victoria Shamrocks reeling heading into the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs.
Altogether, the ‘Rocks have lost three in a row, all against teams that are also headed for the playoffs.
Concerningly, head coach Bob Heyes’s side was significantly outclassed in the last two contests, falling by a 19-8 score on the road against the New Westminster Salmonbellies on Thursday before losing 14-8 at home against the Burnaby Lakers the next night.
In New Westminster, the Shamrocks took a modest 4-3 lead into the first intermission before the Salmonbellies’ offence took over, scoring eight goals in each of the game’s final two frames.
A run of five consecutive goals to end the second period and a 7-0 run to close out the third was more than enough to allow the Salmonbellies to make the contest into a laugher.
Attacker Joel McCready led the way with three goals and six assists, while Mitch Jones added four goals and four helpers.
Joe Resetarits had a hat trick for the Shamrocks.
Aaron Bold made 38 saves on the 50 shots he faced and took the loss.
The Shamrocks should have been hungry for a strong response the following night, but it was the Lakers who dominated in the early going, notching six of the game’s first seven goals before eventually taking an 8-2 lead by the game’s midway point.
The ‘Rocks went on a 4-0 run to get themselves back in the game, but Burnaby responded with a 4-0 run of their own to again put the game out of reach.
The teams each scored a pair down the stretch to cap the scoring.
Corey Small, who finishes the season with a league-leading 88 points and 38 goals, led the Shamrocks’ attack with two goals and three assists. Rhys Duch had a goal and three helpers.
Adam Shute made 25 saves on 31 shots and was tabbed with the loss.
The poor finishing stretch means the Shamrocks are now locked into fourth place and won’t have home-floor advantage when the playoffs begin on Aug. 3.
They’ll face either the Maple Ridge Burrards or the Lakers depending on whether Burnaby beats the last-place Langley Thunder on Tuesday night. If the Lakers win, the ‘Rocks will open the playoffs in Burnaby. If not, it’ll be a rematch of last year’s WLA final against the Burrards.
After starting the season with just a single loss over eight games, the Shamrocks have gone 4-6 over their last 10, including a pair of losses to both the Burrards and Lakers.
The first playoff game at The Q Centre is slated for Aug. 5. at 6 p.m.