Photo Credit: Vintage Lax
Well if you didn’t believe the Shamrocks could win it all after a sudden victory overtime in Game 2; then you got to believe it can happen after last night’s display of poise and confidence to come from behind 4 times and win another thriller in OT.
The game started quiet with both teams scoring only 1 goal a piece in the 1st. But as always with box lacrosse, the added element of having the long change (substitutions taking place on offensive side of the floor) in the second period allows for teams with quick transition games to put up G’s; last night was what you could refer to as lacrosse’s answer to a drag race.
Both teams scoring a combined total of 12 goals in the 2nd; topping the entire goal totals in games 1 and 2.
Until now, it looked like the Shamrocks were going to have to rely heavily on their swift sliding defense; however last night clearly showed that the Shamrocks’ offense is capable of creating lanes through the middle via fast movement and hard picks on the perimeter.
While it was Victoria who opened up the scoring in the 2nd; it was Six Nations popping in the next 5 in only 5 minutes and 4 seconds, Jeff Shattler had 3 of them. Both teams then exchanged 2 goals each until Victoria was able to put together 4 unanswered goals; 2 goals at the end of the 2nd and 2 to kick off the 3rd. This squared the game up at 8-8.
Six Nation Chiefs found the net twice; to which the Victoria Shamrocks answered with 2 of their own; coming back for the 3rd time this contest.
Once again Six Nations jumped ahead off Stephen Keogh’s 3rd goal; Vaughn Harris picking up his 6th apple (Curt Malawsky’s, coach of the Roughnecks, word for assists) and went 15 for 25 at the X.
But it was Rhys Duch finding the cage for the 3rd time himself completing the 4th come back and sending the second straight game into OT. Dhane Smith, whom was out in Game 2, captured the assist; a key insertion back into the lineup with 2 goals and 2 assists while coming out the D door; sick all round performance!
The game was decided when Shamrocks’ captain Scott Ranger (for those of you that caught the game on JVI Webcast Productions; the player that I predicted to score in OT) scored his 1st goal of the Mann Cup with a sidearm, ankle high laser off the far post. Victoria holds out the final minutes of OT and wins it 12-11.
After the game Scott Ranger was asked if he preferred playing the Mann Cup at home or away (last year’s Mann Cup was Six Nations visiting Victoria); to which he pointed out it’s always energizing to play in front of the home crowd but having no distractions on the road has had its benefits.
It’s been nice. Were together every second of the day and there are no distractions like arranging tickets… we’ve been doing silly stuff like bowling and that definitely brings us together. – Scott Ranger
Shamrocks now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 and have shown themselves to be solid at both ends of the floor. Game 4 goes tonight and it could be said this is a must win for the Chiefs, whom I personally, along with every other media person I had spoken to, heavily favored going in to this contest. It also amounts to an even more important game to win for the Shamrocks whom were in this exact same position last year when the Chiefs tied it up at 2-2 and won 3 straight to win the Mann Cup in 6.
When the Six Nations Chiefs are firing on all cylinders they are simply unstoppable; but the Shamrocks are turning this series into a Rocky parody with their refusal to quit.
Check out this awesome graphic of where the goals came from in Game 3!
— JVI Video Production (@JVIVideo) September 9, 2014
Game starts at 8 pm tonight. If attending, do not forget to bring a drum and add to the already booming atmosphere you can expect in a game hosted by the people of the First Nations!
The Mann Cup finals can also be watched online via Webcast Sports streaming.