A hat trick from Taggart Clark helped the Nanaimo Timbermen top the Victoria Shamrocks 11-9 in front of 1,733 fans at The Q Centre in Victoria Friday night. The win improves the Timbermen to 7-4 on the year. Nanaimo is now a game and a half back of New Westminster for second place in the WLA standings. On the flipside, Victoria has lost four straight games to drop to 4-5-1. The Shamrocks remain in fourth place in the standings, but have considerable ground to make up to catch Nanaimo. Furthermore, they are just one game ahead of Maple Ridge, whom they are 0-1-1 against this year.

Dolans Bar

Clark heats up in the first period

The Shamrocks took an early 2-0 lead, after an even strength goal from Steve Priolo (0:38) and a power play marker from Patrick Dodds (4:06). Tyson Roe (8:24) and Clark (10:39 power play) equalized for Nanaimo. Ryan McLean restored Victoria’s lead at 15:38, but Clark scored his second power play goal (16:57) to knot the game at 3-3 after 20 minutes of play.

Tom Vaesen wasted no time putting the Shamrocks up one, scoring 30 seconds into the second period on a power play. The teams then traded three-goal runs. Zach Manns (3:45), Evan Soucy (5:44 shorthanded), and Roe’s second of the game (10:39) put the Timbermen up 6-4. Victoria responded with Cole Pickup (12:58), Brad McCulley (15:14), and Vaesen’s second (18:33) to restore a one-goal lead.

Hat trick from Clark ignites late run to victory

Nanaimo took back the lead in the third period on goals from Ryan Sheridan (4:39) and Jon Phillips (6:34). Vaesen tallied his hat trick on a power play (7:57) to tie the game at 8-8. Clark responded with his third power play goal of the night (12:51), giving Nanaimo a lead they would not relinquish. Goals from Jerrett Smith (15:30; assisted by goaltender Devlin Shanahan) and Manns (16:51 power play) extended the Timbermen’s lead to 11-8. Dallas Wade cut the deficit to two with a shorthanded goal at 18:55. However, time ran out on any hope of a Shamrock comeback.

Clark was named 1st Star of the Game with his three-goal effort. Vaesen (3g, 1a) took home 2nd Star honors, and Shanahan (46 saves) earned 3rd Star of the Game. Shots favored Victoria 55-41. Peter Dubenski made 30 saves for the Shamrocks in the loss, while Grant Evans was 16 of 23 on faceoffs. Clark and the Timbermen host Coquitlam on Saturday 6/8. Victoria plays at Langley on Wednesday 7/5 and at Burnaby on Friday 7/7.

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.