The Rocks earn game one with 9-5 win
Though missing at least three key players—Braydon Sanders, sitting out one of one, Shaun Koenig on two of three, and Chad Pounder out with an injury—the Shamrocks scored a decisive win in game one of the Shaw Cup Semi-Finals against the Kamloops Rattlers.
The players had barely taken the bench when Jarrett Medhurst opened the scoring for the Rocks just 14 seconds into the game. Kamloops answered back a short time later with Russ McIntosh cutting across the top and finding the net on a behind-the-back shot. However, Darren Kirby put the Rocks ahead again on a nice solo effort in which he lowered the shoulder on a defender and bulled his way to the net to drop his shot in on Kamloops keeper Mike Smith. Medhurst added to that lead with his second of the night, however, Kamloops’ JJ Woldum—with just seconds remaining in the period—put a close-in, short side shot to leave the score at 3-2 Armstrong after one period of play.
The second got underway with Kamloops opening the scoring on a power play three minutes in with another by Woldum. Armstrong soon broke the short-lived tie by answering back on a long outlet pass from Shamrocks goalie Chad Pieper to Jamie Cockerill, scoring shorthanded. The Rocks goals kept
coming from Medhurst with his third and fourth of the night, as well as Milan Marcetta with his first. With seven minutes to play, Kamloops answered back with a seeing-eye shot from Liam Hagerty before the Rattlers switched goalies, with Stu Ford relieving Mike Smith. Armstrong's Cockerill added his
second of the night to welcome Ford to the game and round out the scoring with the Rocks taking an 8-4 lead into the dressing room.
The third period, a back and forth affair, saw both teams controlling the play. Kamloops’ Nate Woldum opened the scoring, countered a few minutes later by the Rocks’ Marcetta, who added his second of the night. That finished the scoring as Armstrong managed to run Kamloops out of time, leaving the final at 9-5.
“Our team was a little banged up going in, however, the guys played with a lot of heart and earned a lot of respect from me tonight. I thought the Burton boys (Sam and Luke) played their best games of the year on defence it's their rookie year and they have both came a long way since the start of the year,” head coach Glenn Mitchell credited. “We will need another good team effort on Friday if we want to win the series; however, Kamloops will be fighting for their season and it won't be easy as they have a several leaders in their dressing room that will get them ready for the game.”
The two teams go at it again in Kamloops on Friday Night 8pm at the Kamloops Memorial Arena.