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Veteran WLA defender Priolo rejoins Shamrocks

The Victoria Shamrocks recorded a loss on the floor this week but a win off it with the return of veteran defensive standout Steve Priolo.
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Steve Priolo is back in the Green and White. (DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST)

The Victoria Shamrocks recorded a loss on the floor this week but a win off it with the return of veteran defensive standout Steve Priolo.

You just know this one felt sweet for the Nanaimo Timbermen (6-5) as they defeated the Shamrocks (6-2) by a 13-11 count Thursday night in the Island derby of the Western Lacrosse Association.

Colton Lidstone and Taggart Clark had four goals and two assists each for the Timbermen on six-point nights at Frank Crane Arena in the Harbour City. Marshal King led ­Victoria with four goals while older brother and Ohio State Buckeyes NCAA Big Ten graduate Jesse King had a goal and five points to extend his league-leading total to 57 points. Larson Sundown had two goals.

The six-foot-five and 235 pound Priolo, meanwhile, will shore up the Shamrocks defence with his deceptive fluidity, quickness and agility for a big man. He joins the Shamrocks after leading the Buffalo Bandits to the 2022 pro National Lacrosse League final against the champion Colorado Mammoth. The 33-year-old, in his fifth season with the Shamrocks, is expected in the lineup next Friday night at The Q Centre against the last-place Maple Ridge Burrards (1-6). He has been part of two Mann Cup finalist Victoria teams, including the 2015 championship squad.

Shamrocks GM Chris Welch described him in a statement as “an all-world player and a huge part of our identity.”

Priolo is known as a free spirit and has hooked in well with the laid-back Island vibe.

“Victoria has always felt like home. Not only the lacrosse but the lifestyle as well. After two years away [due to the 2020 and 2021 WLA seasons cancelled due to the pandemic], I am jumping at the opportunity to get back to the Island,” said Priolo, in a statement.

Priolo has represented ­Canada in the world championships. The former University of Windsor Lancers basketball player turned into a lacrosse defensive specialist of the first order. He was a star in ­basketball at Holy Cross Secondary and also in Junior ‘A’ lacrosse for the St. Catharines Athletics. After his freshman season in U Sports hoops at Windsor, Priolo was selected 21st overall by Buffalo in the 2009 NLL draft, and made the choice of lacrosse over basketball, and he has been a Bandits mainstay since.

Meanwhile, the Timbermen are in Burnaby next Friday to meet the Lakers (3-7).

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com