Having an already short bench made shorter by injury and ejection didn’t stop the Armstrong Shamrocks.
Jarret Medhurst fired six goals, including the insurance marker in overtime, and rookie Drew Hassard scored the winner as the ‘Rocks ripped the Kamloops Rattlers 12-10 in the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League season opener for both teams April 17 in Kamloops.
“This was a huge character win for our team to start the year,” said Shamrocks general manager and goaltender Chad Pieper.
“This young team has great skills and really dug deep given our short bench to play their hearts out for the win.”
The Shamrocks started the game with only 13 runners as several players had work commitments or were unavailable.
Armstrong defender Clayton Schlaak was injured in the first period when crushed into the boards by Kamloops’ J.J. Woldum, who received a five-minute boarding major on the play.
Shamrocks sniper Steven Clark was ejected after a second period altercations with the Rattlers’ Nathan Aikins, leaving Armstrong to finish the game with only 11 runners.
Medhurst scored his fifth of the game with less than five minutes remaining to force overtime.
Hassard, a graduate of the Junior Shamrocks program, rifled a low point shot past Kamloops netminder Mike Smith for the eventual game winner. Medhurst ran around two Kamloops defenders to put an insurance marker past Smith.
Sheldon Nelson and Versteeg, with two goals each, and Braydon Sanders rounded out the Armstrong scoring while Carston Schlaak and Cam Nelson each had three assists.
Mark Jurista led Kamloops with 3+2 while former Shamrock AJ Lockwood added 1+4.
“This really is a changing of the guard for the Shamrocks and it’s so great to see the next generation stepping up and continuing our long lacrosse tradition,” said Shamrocks bench boss Ryan Nitchie.
“The boys took only 13 minutes in penalties and none in the third, they played smart lacrosse controlling the play and using the clock to their advantage. It was a pleasure to be a part of.”
The Shamrocks next see action on Friday, May 1, when they travel to Kelowna to take on the Raiders, then return for their home opener at the Nor-Val Sports Centre on Saturday, May 2, against the Rattlers.