Step 1 in How to defeat the Victoria Shamrocks proved a tough lesson for the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
The senior A Salmonbellies dropped their opening game of the best-of-seven Western Lacrosse Association final 11-3 to the league champion Shamrocks at the Q Centre on Friday.
Game 2 of the series is on Monday at Queen’s Park Arena at an earlier time of 6:30 p.m.
The ’Bellies managed to keep Shamrock snipers to within a manageable 11 goals, but without the ability to generate transition opportunities into scores and notching just three of 44 shots on goal on third-star keeper Aaron Bold, New West has a big challenge ahead of themselves if they want to prolong the series past this week.
Bold, who was perhaps miffed at not being selected to a WLA all-start team, was outstanding in goal for Victoria, fashioning a sizzling .932 save percentage in the series opener.
At the other end, starter Eric Penney and Alexis Buque combined to make 37 saves in the New West net.
Lefthander Logan Schuss figured in all three of New West’s goals, momentarily tying the matchup at 1-1 in the opening three minutes of play before assisting on Keegan Bal’s second-period pair, including a shorthanded marker in the final seconds of the frame that shaved the deficit to 7-3.
Victoria stars Corey Small and Rhys Duch led the way with eight and seven points apiece, including four-goal games each for the pair.
Game 3 is in Victoria on Wednesday with Game 4 back at Queen’s Park on Friday at 7:45 p.m.