Baby Rocks all heart
And, action! Shamrock Todd Hoggarth is poised and ready to take possession of the ball during last Wednesday night’s junior game against the Kamloops Venom. Despite their efforts, the Baby Rocks fell to the first place team 11-8. (Heather Black photo)
With 12 of their starters watching from the stands, a very depleted Armstrong Junior Shamrocks squad took on the heavily stacked, first place Kamloops Venom Wednesday night in Armstrong.
Starting the game with 12 runners, the Shamrocks jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on goals by Brett Hawrys, Kyle Versteeg and Drew Davies. That chased the Kamloops starting goalie. Hawrys potted his second as the Shamrocks took a 4-2 lead into the first intermission.
Armstrong goalie Trent Gabriel gave an outstanding performance, turning away over 50 shots in the game, making one spectacular save after another to keep his undermanned team in the game. The Venom pushed back but Hawrys scored his third of the night while the Venom allowed an own goal where their player kicked the ball that trickled behind their goalie for an 8-6 lead going into the third period. Near the end of the second, a fight between Hawrys and Riley Donahue put another Shamrock out for the remainder of the game. More injuries to the Armstrong team left them with just eight runners on the bench.
The Venom capitalized on two power plays while the Shamrocks ran out of gas to lose 11-8.
"The committed players who showed up tonight to play earned a lot of respect from us coaches," said assistant coach Ryan Nitchie. "These guys played through injuries, tired and beat up and showed us true Shamrock pride, and I can't stress enough how proud I was of them."
Shamrocks head coach Pat Nelson praised the play of his team as well, especially net minder Trent Gabriel.
"Trent was unreal, some of the finest goaltending we've seen; he really gave our team a chance. He has a great attitude and shows incredible commitment coming all the way from Osoyoos to help us out.”
Due to the state of the team, the Shamrocks have been forced to default their scheduled game in Penticton on Sunday but managed to field a full roster for a make up game against the Flames Tuesday at Nor-Val Sports Centre.