The Armstrong Shamrocks continue to roll in the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League.
The Irish racked up their sixth straight win, an 11-5 decision over the Kelowna Raiders Friday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre and, in doing so, claimed first place overall. The win improves Armstrong’s record to 6-1, a full two points up on the Raiders (5-2) with each team having one regular season game left. The Shamrocks would win a tiebreaker as they won the season series over Kelowna, two games to one.
Steve Clark scored three times and added three assists to lead the Shamrocks while Brett Hawrys scored three times and added two assists. Armstrong led 3-0 and 9-2 by periods.
Veteran goalie Chad Pieper was solid, making 42 saves for Armstrong.
In Vernon, the Tigers’ final regular season home game was one to forget.
The Kamloops Rattlers, who had scored a combined seven goals in their past three games, lit up Vernon for 11, scoring nearly as many goals as the Tigers had shots in an 11-o victory.
The game was called by the referees with 7:28 left in the third period after Vernon’s Ryan Krusel received a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, a 10-minute misconduct and gross misconduct for arguing a penalty call against a teammate seconds earlier.
The Tigers were whistled for 78 minutes in penalties, which included two gross misconducts (the other to assistant coach Jim Point), and two five-minute majors, compared to only eight penalty minutes against the short-staffed Rattlers.
Kamloops scored four powerplay goals and another shorthanded.
The Rattlers had eight runners and added five call-ups for the game, including Jesse Avison and Travis Chisholm from the Shamrocks’ practice roster, Vernon Junior Tigers players Nick Mann and Hayden Catt, and Dominick Young from the junior Kamloops Venom.
Veteran Jake Brown scored three times for Kamloops, all in the first period, Venom head coach Liam Hagerty, AJ Lockwood and Young each scored twice.
Rattlers goalie Stu Ford made 12 saves for his first shutout since minor, though his teammates joked after it should go in the book with an asterisk because it wasn’t a full game.
Vernon goalie Josh Point was felled three times in the game on shots. The first two caught Point in the throat area, and he was down for some time after the second shot in the middle period. After he was cleared to continue playing, a shot minutes later caught Point in the head, which led to him going down again, and to his father being angered on the Vernon bench over the shot, resulting in the gross misconduct handed out by the officials.
The Tigers close out the regular season in Armstrong Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The league will hold a three-team playoff tournament July 13 and 14 in Armstrong. The Rattlers will likely not take part due to a player shortage.