For the third consecutive year, the Armstrong Shamrocks are runners-up in the Shaw Cup Senior C men’s lacrosse finals.
The Rocks bowed 14-9 to the defending champion Kelowna Raiders in Game 2 of their best-of-three series Wednesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Jarrett Medhurst opened the scoring on the Shamrocks’ first possession, but that seemed to wake up the Raiders, who went on a four-goal tear.
Call-up Brett Hawrys, who won the Junior B scoring race, responded for Armstrong with the first of his three goals, however, the Raiders continued to pressure the Shamrock defence, increasing their lead to 7-2. Kriss Yargeau, Milan Marcetta and Braydon Sanders tallied for the hosts to make it 7-5 after one period.
With Armstrong shorthanded early in the second period, netminder Chad Pieper delivered a long outlet pass to Hawrys for a breakaway goal. Hawrys then equalized on a great solo effort, getting knocked down in a double team, but getting up to fire a rocket past netminder Graham Cousins.
Kelowna powered back with three straight goals, however, the Shamrocks felt the final one was scored with too many men on the floor.
“The Raiders’ 10th goal with six players on the floor seemed to take the wind out of our sails,” said Shamrock head coach Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell.
“If that goal doesn’t count, it could have been a different third period.”
The Raiders continued the relentless pressure in the final frame, stretching their lead to 13-7 before call-up Nathan Marcetta answered for Armstrong.
Another goal for Kelowna spelled the end of the night for Pieper, who was replaced for the last 10 minutes by Owen Siddall.
With the score out of reach, the game turned ugly in the late going, resulting in several misconducts, fighting majors and a match penalty.
Thomas Belenger converted on a late powerplay to cap the scoring.
“I’m proud of my boys,” said Mitchell. “They played hard for each other. We spotted the Raiders early leads in both games and then fought back, but just never got the breaks we need to give us the lead.”
Pho Heng, with 4+2, and Jordan Innes, with 3+2, were Kelowna’s top scorers.
Mitchell and the Shamrocks thanked their fans for all there support.