The Maple Ridge Burrards took the first game in their best-of-seven playoff series with the Victoria Shamrocks on Wednesday night on Vancouver Island.
Only three power play goals in the third period allowed the Shamrocks to keep the score respectable, but the WLA regular season champs fell to the third-place Burrards 11-6.
“Frankie Scigliano stole the show, and we definitely outworked them,” said coach Rob Williams.
Goaltender Scigliano made 47 saves in the game, while Dan Taylor led the offence with seven points on a goal and six assists.
Williams said Taylor is a big man with great skills, and he’s impossible to contain.
But Williams has always maintained that his team has numerous weapons, and that was certainly the case on Wednesday, as they got goals from nine different scorers.
Ben McIntosh had two goals and three assists, Jarrett Davis had two goals and two assists, and other goals were scored by Connor Goodwin, Riley Loewen, Luke Gillespie, Mike Mallory, Zack Porter and Matt Symes.
“That’s a good projection of what our team is about. They look to each other. Nobody thinks it’s their team, it’s our team.”
The Shamrocks enjoyed a 3-2 lead early in the first period, and there was a raucous crowd in the Q Center.
Then the Burrards scored seven straight, and “things went pretty quiet” as the visitors took control of the series opener.
Early in that run assistant captain Davis, who is known more for finesse than fisticuffs, dropped the gloves with Victoria’s Greg Harnett. Williams said the veteran forward felt the Shamrock was taking liberties, and wanted to send a message.
“Davis is a real leader and competitor,” said the coach. “That was a huge thing for our bench.”
The next game goes on Friday at 6 p.m. at Cam Neely Arena, and Williams knows the Shamrocks will come out hard.
“It’s a proud organization and a proud team. We’ll have to battle.”
The Shamrocks were the highest scoring team in the league, but suffered injuries in a tough series with the Burnaby Lakers.
“Things aren’t getting an easier for them either,” said Williams.