Lacrosse fans will take many memories from Thursday night’s triumphant Victoria Shamrocks game.
There’s the tension that filled the building in the first period, which ended 1-1. Then a quick outburst of three goals early in the second that gave the Victoria Shamrocks some wiggle room, which eventually led to the 8-3 win over the Langley Thunder.
A capacity crowd at Bear Mountain Arena loved every minute of it as the Shamrocks claimed their 18th Western Lacrosse Association title.
The team now begins its quest for its ninth Mann Cup crown starting Fri., Sept. 6, against the Six Nation Chiefs in a best-of-seven at The Bear.
What I will remember is the tremendous sacrifices the Shamrocks made, especially over the last three games to win the WLA series 4-2.
In particular, allowing just three goals against to the two-time defending champions in each of the last two home games.
The team’s tenacity on defence and the performance of goaltender Matt Vinc stood out.
The Shamrocks fans showed their appreciation with a standing ovation at game’s end and many gathered on the floor to join in the celebrations.
The job isn’t complete yet as the goal all along this season for general manager Chris Welch and his staff is to bring home the Mann Cup, the Canadian Senior A lacrosse trophy.
Veteran Jeff Shattler, who was named the Shamrocks’ most popular player,also earned the most valuable player award for the playoffs. Shattler finished with eight goals and 34 points over nine post-season games.
Cory Conway and Rhys Duch added 29 and 28 points respectively and captain Scott Ranger finished with a team and league leading 13 goals, including two in Thursday’s clincher.
But there were so many tremendous performances as unheralded players such as Scott Carnegie, Tyler Burton, Matt Yager, Karsen Leung, Nolan Heavenor, Dylan Evans and Tyler Hass turned in solid efforts.
This was definitely a team win and they will require a similar performance in the Mann Cup.