Staring an elimination game straight in the face, Victoria Shamrocks head coach Bob Heyes says he has full faith that his team can rebound and win the Mann Cup.
Down 3-2 in the best-of-seven Canadian Senior A championship lacrosse series, the Shamrocks will attempt to fend off the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 6 tonight at 7 at Bear Mountain Arena.
“I believe in them,” Heyes said of his Shamrocks. “We’ve been through a lot, sacrificed a lot to get here - from leaving families to leaving home - this is a dream for them and, absolutely, I believe in them.
“So much so that I put my neck on the line to make those calls and give us an opportunity,” Heyes added, referring to his two illegal equipment checks on Chiefs netminders Brandon Miller and Evan Kirk in a controversial Game 5.
Both goalies were kicked out of the game and veteran lacrosse star Colin Doyle played the final 11 minutes of the Chiefs’ 11-7 win.
“I’m trying to give them the best opportunity to win,” said Heyes. “It looked good for a bit, but they’re (the Chiefs) resilient.
“You have to take the good and the bad. When you make a call like that, you fire up the opposition and it just added to the legend of Colin Doyle, I guess. Unfortunately.”
Heyes took a huge chance making the calls, a move most people are calling desperate.
“That was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen in lacrosse and like I told my players, that was one of the gutsiest performances I’ve seen out of a team,” Chiefs head coach Rich Klgour said of his victorious group, which can win the Mann Cup tonight.
“We win with 25 strong, that’s our battle cry. Anyone who gets their number called better be ready to go and everyone we have called on in this series has done their job.
"We still have one more win to go and you know the old saying, the fourth one is the hardest,” added Kilgour.
If the Shamrocks are to have a chance they will need to shut down Cody Jamieson, who was 12 points in his last two games and has easily been the best player on the floor.
“Cody is a great player. He’s phenomenal,” said Heyes. “We key on him and he still scores goals. He finds ways to score. He’s a talent. He’s their best player, their threat and an answer is to try and find a way to stop him.He killed us (Tuesday) and (Wednesday) he did it again.”
But after Wednesday’s result, there is no tomorrow if the Shamrocks should lose tonight.
A win would force Game 7 on Saturday.