|Brandon Miller stood tall once again for the Six Nations Chiefs as they won Game 5 of the Mann Cup. (Photo: Tim Prothero)|
The Six Nations Chiefs took a 3-2 lead in the 2014 Mann Cup with an 8-6 win over the Victoria Shamrocks Wednesday night. Cody Jamieson scored back to back power play goals on a five-minute high-sticking major by Bubba Westwood to break a 5-5 tie in the third period. The Shamrocks had fought back from a 5-2 deficit with a Tyler Hass transition goal late in the second then a pair of outside shot goals from Corey Small to open the third.
With Matt Flindell out for the series with a head injury, Cody Hagedorn was forced into net for the Shamrocks and did an excellent job for them, making 37 saves. He couldn't stop Jamieson's pair of rockets from the high slot, though, and that proved to be the difference in the game. Jamieson had taken his own major penalty when he slashed Hass towards the end of the second period. The Chiefs were able to kill off that penalty, in part because they drew a pair of slashing penalties by Ben McCullough while ragging the ball.
The Shamrocks scored the first goal of the game for the first time in the series when Dhane Smith connected 2:45 into the first period, but the Chiefs responded with the next four goals to take a 4-1 lead into the intermission. Chris Wardle for Victoria and Colin Doyle for Six Nations exchanged goals in the first half of the second period.
Victoria limited the Chiefs offensively again after Six Nations had scored a total of 23 goals in the previous two games. “These guys are sound defensively, they're outstanding They don't give you a whole lot. When you're playing at the highest level usually the goals per game drop,” Doyle said. He expects to face a tough challenge again when the teams meet for Game 6. “They're here to win the Mann Cup. There's no two ways around that. They've proven that and I don't suspect Friday will be any different.”
Jeff Shattler, who led the Chiefs with 2 goals and 4 assists, gave a lot of credit to Six Nations' defence as well. “I honestly believe our defence is the best in the league. We proved it against Peterborough and we're going to try to prove it against these guys in Game 6,” Shattler said. “As long as we get all our guys off the floor and we get our big guns out on the defensive end, we're hard to beat. They're hard to score on. [Goalie Brandon] Miller's on his game, he hasn't had one bad one the whole playoffs. He's a heart and soul on the back end and our defence is giving him shots from the outside. If we keep doing that I think we're going to do well.”
Six Nations head coach Rich Kilgour said his team will get a well-earned day off Thursday. “Just let them relax tomorrow. I told them, go eat a steak, have some pasta. We'll have a shootaround Friday morning, go over some stuff then. Three games in three nights at this level, and how hard these guys play, is really tough on guys. I can't believe I used to do it back in the day. I'm sore from just standing two hours a night. I want my guys to get a good rest. Hopefully lay around tomorrow and be ready to play Friday.”
Kilgour said Jamieson is tough to stop when he gets some time and space to shoot the ball. “I bring my nephew as a ball boy and I tell him watch Cody shoot,” Kilgour said. “95% of the time he shoots dead overhand. I think the goalies can't get a read on it. If you really watch him he shoots to all corners. He doesn't have really a favourite shot. High, low, at your knees, five hole, bounce, blow it by you. When he shoots from the same overhand spot all the time it's tough for a goalie to get a read on it. He's proven over and over again he's the best player going right now and he proved it again tonight.”
|Corey Small had a pair of goals for Victoria in Game 5.|
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
Victoria head coach Bob Heyes was proud of the effort his team put in with their backup goalie having to play, missing lefty forwards Jesse King and Brandon Bull away at university in the United States, and with key defender Jon Harnett playing through a knee injury. “I think as a team we worked as hard as we had to to win a game tonight,” Heyes said. He was disappointed in what he called inconsistent and one-sided officiating. “You're playing in the Mann Cup and the officiating was inconsistent. What's a slash at one end and what isn't a slash?,” Heyes asked. “Our guys are getting hit after a shot, after a pass, in the back and there's no calls. They dive and they get the calls. Really, it's a travesty that in a game like that the referees dictated the final outcome. We played too hard. Those guys played too hard for shitty reffing tonight.”
In the end, though, his team just didn't manage to do what it needed to to get a victory, Heyes said. “I can't blame the refs. The players still had the game in hand, we still had opportunities. We didn't execute some simple passes. It's a game of inches. It's a cliche, but there's a couple of two on ones there that if we catch them we'll score.”
Now Heyes says his team will enjoy the day off and come back ready to play hard on Friday in Game 6, which can be seen via live PPV webcast produced by JVI Video. Click on the Webcast Sports logo in the right hand column of this web site to watch the game Friday at 8pm. If necessary, Game 7 will be Saturday night.