Shamrocks reel in Salmonbellies season

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The New Westminster Salmonbellies 125th season came to unceremonious end at Queen's Park Arena on Wednesday.

The Victoria Shamrocks defeated the ’Bellies 16-13 to sweep their best-of-seven Western Lacrosse Association semifinal in four games.

The second period proved to be their undoing. The teams traded leads in the first period which ended in 5-5. But Victoria dominated the second outscoring New West 7-1. A furious eight-minute stretch where the Salmonbellies outscored the Shamrocks 6-1 in the third period proved to be too little, too late to salvage the game and extinguished any hope they had of a miracle comeback in the series.

While New Westminster's powerplay had five goals on seven chances, it also surrendered four shorthanded goals, two of  by Jesse King and twoi by Tyler Hass who had five in the game.

Jordan McBride notched three goals and three assists for New West with Cliff Smith scoring three times and assisting on two others. Logan Schuss was the top point producer with seven including two goals. One of the best Salmonbellies in the series was junior callup Josh Byrne who had two goals and three assists. In the four games he played, Byrne had eight goals and 13 points putting him behind only Schuss (6-14-20) and McBride (10-8-18).

Other ’Bellies goals were scored by Jimmy McBride, Jeff Cornwall and Kyle Ross.

Victoria, which finished first in the regular season, outshot the fourth-place New Westminster 62-42 including a 25-9 advantage in the second period.

The Shamrocks advance to the WLA final against the winner of the other semifinal between the Burnaby Lakers and the Maple Ridge Burrards which was tied 2-2 heading into Game 5 at Bill Copeland Arena Thursday (7:45 p.m.).

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