The Maple Ridge Burrards and Victoria Shamrocks are tied 1-1 in their best-of-seven series to decide the Western Lacrosse Association champion.
Game three is scheduled for Tuesday night in Victoria, and the Burrards will host game four on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena.
The winner moves on to the Mann Cup national championship.
The Maple Ridge Burrards lost the first game on Friday night by a score of 9-4. Curtis Dickson scored three for the Burrards and Dan Taylor had the fourth.
“I don’t think we were mentally ready for the first game,” said coach Rob Williams, adding that a first-round playoff sweep of the New Westminster Salmonbellies may have resulted in too long a layoff for his team.
The Shamrocks had a balanced attack, and got their nine goals from seven different players. Victoria goalie Adam Shute was the game’s first star, as he made 34 saves on 38 shots.
Dickson was the first star on Tuesday night, with three goals and five points, as the Burrards won by a score of 9-8 to even the series.
“We played our style of game, where the defence was good, and our offence was busy,” said Williams.
He said Dickson gave the Shamrocks headaches, as his combination of balance, strength and agility make him impossible to match up with.
“I wouldn’t want to check him,” said Williams. “And if you want to double (cover) him, then you’ve got the finisher in the game in Ben McIntosh open, and it’s in your net.”
It was Jean-Luc Chetner who had the other hat trick on Tuesday, as the coaching staff made sure he got some looks at the net.
“He’s a heady player with a high lacrosse IQ, and we used him better in schemes,” said Williams.
McIntosh had a goal and two assists, with Dan Taylor and Jeff Cornwall both had a goal and an assist.
If Williams has a lot of weapons on his bench, so do the Shamrocks.
“They’ve got a really balanced offence too – a lot like us. It should be a great series,” he said.
Both teams are also looking to score some big hits on the opposition.
“Both games have been physical, and I don’t imagine it getting any less.”
• The WLA concluded the 2018 team and individual award winners, as voted by the board of governors in consultation with their team executives and staff.
The Leo Nicholson Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Goaltender was donated by H.N. Delmonico, and is awarded per his wishes to a goaltender who displays outstanding goal keeping ability all season, regardless of the statistics or standing of his team. This year’s winner is Frank Scigliano from the Burrards.
The Gordon C. Nicholson Memorial Award for Outstanding Defensive Player was donated by the Nicholson family in memory of this former WLA commissioner and long-time friend of lacrosse. It is awarded to a player demonstrating outstanding defensive abilities and possessing leadership qualities on and off the floor. This year’s winner is Mike Messenger from the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
The Commission Trophy for Most Outstanding Player was donated by the members of the 1958 Inter-City Box Lacrosse League Commission, and is awarded to the overall most outstanding player in regular season play. This year’s Most Outstanding Player is Logan Schuss of the New Westminster Salmonbellies.