SIX NATIONS – After falling to the reigning Mann Cup Champions in Game #1, the Victoria Shamrocks pulled Game#2 out of the fire with a very gutsy, 6-5 performance Saturday night to even the series at 1-1.
The loss of Jeff Shattler to the Chiefs in the off-season hurt, but it certainly did not leave the Shamrocks without offensive power. Chris Wardle filled the gap quite nicely all season, but Saturday’s come-from-behind win was credited to the 6’, 175 lb. attacker from Victoria BC.
The Pro-Fit Chiefs took an early 2-0 lead with goals scored by Colin Doyle and Craig Point. But Karsen Leung got one of them back. Kasey Beirnes made it 3-1 at the end of the first period. Wardle scored his first of the night to tie the game at 2-2, on a powerplay with Vaughn Harris sitting out for checking from behind. Then, former Chief, Rhys Duch gave the ‘Rocks the lead at 14:28.
But with six seconds remaining, Craig Point sent the Chiefs fans crazy by tying it up and sending the game into the first 10-minute overtime period after Victoria’s Greg Harnett took an untimely holding penalty at 18:37.
Doyle scored at 3:36 of the extra frame from Jesse Gamble and goalie Brandon Miller, and just when it looked like the Chiefs were about to go up 2-0 in the series, Wardle and Duch set up Small for his second of the night with 31 seconds remaining, to once again tie it, 5-5.
That produced a sudden death second OT period and at 2:32, Wardle won it from Scott Ranger and all of a sudden, it was a new series again.
“That makes it a best of five,” said Chiefs coach Rich Kilgour after the game.
The teams took Sunday off before reconvening at the ILA Monday night for Game #3.