Shamrocks hand Burrards first loss of the season

The first-place Burrards hosted the reigning league champion Victoria Shamrocks, and were handed their first loss of the season.

There was still a great lacrosse game played at Cam Neely Arena on Sunday night, despite wrangling between the WLA board of directors and the Maple Ridge Burrards over late-game violence

(See story page 10).

The first-place Burrards hosted the reigning league champion Victoria Shamrocks, and were handed their first loss of the season by a 12-10 score. They are also the two most penalized teams in the league, but there were none of the shenanigans the league is trying to curb, said Burrards president Lance Andre.

“It was a clean game with high intensity – a playoff atmosphere,” he said.

They are the most penalized teams in the league by a wide margin – Victoria tops with 212 minutes and the Burrards second with 183.

And they appear to be closely matched. The Burrards scored the first four goals and led the game 5-1 after the first period. But Victoria won the second period 5-2, cutting the Ridge lead to 7-6.

The Burrards lost defensive ace Zack Porter, ejected from the game for checking in the change box late in the second period. That delivered a blow to their shut-down defence.

D.J. Saari took a five-minute roughing major early in the third period, and the Shamrocks got two of their four power play goals, taking their first lead of the game 9-8.

It was tied 10-10 until Victoria got the winner with two and a half minutes to play, and an insurance goal with four seconds left.

The Burrards are 5-1-1 with 11 points, and are still ahead of the Shamrocks who are now 5-2.

Andre noted that the Burrards were playing one of the WLA’s elite teams, and it was their third game in four nights.

Mike Mallory had a goal and five poiints to lead the burrards, and was named the game’s third star. He is third in league scoring with 30 points.

Aaron Davis, Matt Symes, Lyndon Knuttila and Luke Gillespie each scored twice for the Burrards, while Zack Porter also scored.

Shamrock Rhys Duch had five goals and nine points in the game, and leads the league in scoring with 45 points.

On Saturday in Coquitlam Mallory had a hat trick as the Burrards beat the Adanacs 9-6.

Gillespie and Spencer Evans each had a goal and two assists, While Zack Porter scored twice. Porter has eight goals through seven games this season, after scoring three in his first 37 games in the league.

Owen Barker and Symes also scored.

Two local boys have carried the offence, and among the goal leaders in the WLA are Luke Gillespie and Mike Mallory, tied for second place with 14 goals each.

And reinforcement are about to arrive from the NLL champion Saskatchewan Rush. Forwards Riley Loewen, Dan Taylor, Jarret Davis and Ben McIntosh are now finished with their pro campaign, and a celebratory team trip to Mexico, and will be back in the lineup this week.

Andre said the team is in good position to win the WLA – he wouldn’t say it before, but if his short-staffed team had been .500 at this point, with the cavalry coming, he would have liked their chances at taking the league title.

“We’re in great shape to win now,” he said.

He’s not the only one who thinks so – in the Lacrosse Talk national rankings Maple Ridge is sitting second in the nation, behind only the Brooklin Redmen of MSL

The Burrards have a rematch with the Tuesday night against the Burnaby Lakers at Bill Copeland Arena.

Their next home game is Sunday at 6:45 p.m. when they host the Coquitlam Adanacs at 6:45 p.m. at Planet Ice.