Always on the run now after slow start, Victoria Shamrocks adopt Gloria as their song

Because of the emerging parallels to the St. Louis Blues’ season, the Victoria Shamrocks have adopted Gloria by Laura Branigan as their theme song for 2019.

The 1982 smash single was adopted by the Blues and their fans in their worst-to-first run to the Stanley Cup this year.

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The Shamrocks, who began the Western Lacrosse Association season 0-3, are on a seven-game winning streak and have not been shy about embracing the St. Louis storyline.

Whatever it is, it’s working.

Yet maybe a step back in music to the 1960s with some Good Vibrations might also be in order. Because that’s what the Shamrocks are feeling right now.

“There’s definitely a good vibe around the team,” head coach Bob Heyes said.

“We dug ourselves a hole to start the season and it was a wake-up call.”

It’s a call the team has answered.

“It took a while for it to sink in that Rhys Duch was out for the season. But other guys have stepped up and seized the opportunity,” Heyes said.

All-time Shamrocks great Duch was injured in his first WLA game back for Victoria after scoring the winning goal in overtime in late May to give the Calgary Roughnecks the pro NLL title before 17,039 fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Without Duch’s prodigious offensive production, Victoria’s resurgence has been built on the backs of its hounding defenders, several of whom are top-flight NLL pro backliners.

“Our defence has been relentless in putting pressure on opposition players,” Heyes said.

The Shamrocks (8-4) will be at the Langley Events Centre tonight to play the lowly Thunder (3-10), but are wary of the winning streak going crazy eights.

“We are taking nothing for granted,” Heyes said.

“Langley has already beat us once this year. Coquitlam [3-10] beat Nanaimo [7-5] in their last game. You can throw the form chart out the window. Injuries or a hot goalie can change things very quickly.”

A quirk in the recent trade that saw NLL pros Connor Robinson and Tyler Pace come to the Shamrocks, on loan for the season from Langley, included a stipulation that the pair couldn’t play against the Thunder in the regular season. So the 2017 first-overall WLA draft pick Pace, who is ready to return from injury, and 2018 WLA top-overall pick Robinson will sit out tonight.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com

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