Monday night in Victoria, the Six Nations Chiefs were coming off a solid 10-8 win which tied them with the host Shamrocks at one game apiece. But the Shamrocks had something to prove as well and came out on fire and quickly put the Chiefs behind a mountain the size of the Rockies themselves.
The Shams buried starter Evan Kirk under an avalanche of first period shots scoring five times on 15 shots. He was replaced by back up Brandon Miller who went the rest of the way. Although the loss was attributed to him, Miller played exceptionally well and gave his team a chance to come back.
Kasey Beirnes recorded the Chiefs’ only goal of the period assisted by Colin Doyle.
Six Nations settled down in the second period and tightened their defense in front of Miller. Steven Keogh chipped another goal off the deficit at 58 seconds from Jesse Gamble and Rob Marshall.
The score stayed at 6-2 until Jeff Shattler scored his second of the game with 37 seconds remaining in the period to increase Victoria’s lead to 7-2.
Scott Ranger made it 8-2 at 1:25 of the third, but the Chiefs pride kicked in with four unanswered goals before the game ended.
Cody Jamieson, Roger Vyse, Keogh, and Beirnes brought the game closer, but the Chiefs ran out of time and lost Game #3, 8-6.
Game #4 is being played Wednesday night.
Things were going quite well for the Six Nations Chiefs in Game #1 of the best of seven Mann Cup series against the western champion Victoria Shamrocks, on Friday night, until Victoria’s Jesse King erupted with three goals in the third period to give his team a 5-4.
The low score is what the lacrosse insiders were predicting with Matt Vinc in net for the Shamrocks, and Evan Kirk for the Chiefs, and that is exactly how it turned out.
Kirk stopped 39 of 44 shot on him, and Vinc stopped 26 of the 30 he had to handle.
Kasey Beirnes registered the first goal of the 2013 Mann Cup championship at 3:24 assisted by David Brock. Victoria answered at 9:10 unassisted to tie the game at 1-1 before Johnny Powless scored from Cody Jamieson and Roger Vyse at 10:16 and Craig
Point closed the first period with the Chiefs leading 3-1. Jamieson assisted on Point’s goal.
Point scored again to open the second period at 1:38 from Jamieson and Colin Boucher.
Former Chief Rhys Duch scored Victoria’s second goal of the game on a power play at 5:02 with Rory Smith off for High Sticking. Duch joined the Chiefs for the 2012 season.
The Chiefs were in charge and only had to control the ball for the last 20 minutes, but Vinc turned it up a notch and blocked all 11 shots the Chiefs could muster while Evans allowed three goals in 8 shots in the third.
All three Victoria goals came from the stick of Victoria native, Jesse King. The Shamrocks powerplay went 2-4 while the Chiefs were 0-3.
After letting Game #1 slip through their grasp, the Chiefs had to regroup for Game #2 played the next day. This time they would need all three periods to win.
That is exactly what they got as the Chiefs evened the series Saturday night at 1-1 with a 10-8 win thanks to a strong third period. It was Evan Kirk and Cody Jamieson’s game.
Kirk faced 51 shots on which he made 43 saves, while Matt Vinc handled 29 of 39 shots in the Shamrocks’ goal.
Jamieson scored the first goal of the game and his first of the night at 4:16 from Roger
Vyse. Who minutes later Alex Kedoh Hill made it 2-0 for Six Nations assisted by Craig Point and Jamieson.
Jeff Shattler got Victoria on track at 7:58 but Jamieson got that back with his second of the game on a powerplay from Vyse.
The Shamrocks tied the game at 3-3 after Rhys Duch and Shattler scored. Johnny Powless made it 4-3 for Six Nations at 19:15 from Jamieson and Kasey Beirnes but Duch evened the score with six seconds left and Rory Smith off for High Sticking. Kirk had a solid period in goal.
With the score tied 4-4 after 20 minutes, Kedoh Hill netted his second of the game from Jesse Gamble and Sid Smith at 1:02 but Victoria answered four minutes later. Vyse restored the Chiefs narrow one goal lead from Jamieson and Keogh at 9:51, but Shattler scored his third of the game at 13:55 to send the teams to the dressing room tied at 6-6 with 20 minutes left in regulation time.
Once again, the Chiefs struck first with Hill’s third of the game from Colin Doyle and Keogh.
Victoria stormed back with two goals to take the lead 8-7, both on powerplays by the middle of the period.
The Chiefs were not about to go down two games to none without a good fight and dug deep the rest of the way. Powless evened the score from Beirnes and Doyle at 9:54 followed by, what would be the game winner, scored by Jamieson from Keogh at 16:30.
Colin Doyle put it on ice at 19:18 from Beirnes and Vyse.
The teams had a day off Sunday to lick their wounds and rest for Game #3, played Monday night, Game #4 Tuesday and Game #5 Wednesday.