Sunday, September 7, 2014

Shamrocks take 6-5 win in double overtime to tie Mann Cup 1-1

Karsen Leung scores Victoria's first goal in their 6-5 double overtime win Saturday that evened the Mann Cup at 1-1.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Victoria Shamrocks won a roller coaster of a game 6-5 in sudden-death overtime to tie the 2014 Mann Cup at one game apiece. Victoria beat the Six Nations Chiefs when Chris Wardle slipped behind the defence and buried a pass from Scott Ranger on the crease 2:32 into the fifth period.

It was Wardle's second goal of the game to go along with 2 assists. Corey Small also scored twice for the Shamrocks. Colin Doyle and Craig Point each had a pair of goals for the Chiefs. Doyle's second looked like it might stand as the game-winner. He took a pass from Jesse Gamble in transition and barrelled down the slot to put the ball past Matt Flindell at 3:36 of the first overtime, giving the Chiefs a 5-4 lead. Small evened things up with 31 seconds left in the frame when he bounced a shot through Brandon Miller.

Both goalies and defences were outstanding throughout the game. It was 3-1 Six Nations after the first period and Wardle scored the only goal of the second on a power play. Rhys Duch tied it up at 3:33 of the third. Small, who had been struggling with is shot through the first two games, finally connected to give the Shamrocks their first lead of the series at 14:28.

That looked like it would hold up as the winner as time was ticking down in regulation and the Chiefs went deep into the shot clock. Very deep, as it would turn out. The shot clock appeared to stop running with three seconds left and Point put home a brilliant cross-floor pass from Doyle with six seconds remaining in regulation, after the shot clock would have expired. “We have to look at the 30-second clock because the 30-second clock was incorrectly run when they scored that tying goal and that has to be addressed. Plain and simple,” said Victoria head coach Bob Heyes. “We're not here for a game like this to be decided on someone who's not impartial.”

Heyes was proud of the heart his team showed to win the game. “We gutted it out,” he said. “I played for this club for 12 years. The pride these guys showed was something else. I don't know if you've seen that from a club like that. Everything they showed was outstanding.”

Flindell, who was named the game's second star (Wardle was the first), gave credit to the defence in front of him. “Our defence played unbelievable,” Flindell said. “I don't think [the Chiefs] got a shot in sudden-death overtime. They got barely any in overtime. Our D stepped up when we needed it. They were letting me see the shots. When I see the shots I can stop them, even with these great shooters.”

The goalie has been a lifelong Shamrocks fan and is thrilled to be a part of a Mann Cup run with the legendary franchise. “This is the trophy I grew up dreaming to play, watching the Shamrocks win back when I was a kid. Winter ball doesn't really mean much to me in theory, I just grew up wanting to be a Shamrock. This is the dream. I'm making the most of it while I can.”

Six Nations head coach Rich Kilgour said his team can't get caught up in ifs after the loss. “They end up winning 6-5. You play 70 minutes and both teams only end up putting up 10 goals combined. That's some good D and that's some good goaltending. They were one shot better than us tonight. Learn from it, move on.”

Game 3 goes Monday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. You can see the game on live PPV webcast produced by JVI Video. Click on the Webcast Sports link in the right hand column of this site and follow the instructions to watch the game.