“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Victoria Shamrocks traveled to Bill Copeland Arena to face the Burnaby Lakers for the third and final time this season. Victoria was looking to leapfrog league leaders Nanaimo (12-6), who have already completed their regular season. Burnaby, meanwhile, was playing for pride, having lost the earlier two games against the Shamrocks by scores of 21-6 and 23-5.

Tonight would feature more of the same, as Victoria jumped out to a 6-1 lead on their way to a 15-9 drubbing of Burnaby. The win moves the Shamrocks to 11-4, just one game behind Nanaimo, with three games to play. Burnaby falls to 4-12 on the year, having lost of 8 of their last 10 games.

Cole Pickup shines for Victoria in the first two periods

Jake Foster opened the scoring for Victoria just 43 seconds into the game. Cole Pickup would then extend the lead to 3-0 with his first two goals of the night (6:21; 8:25). Mark Yingling got the Lakers on the board at 12:43 before the Shamrocks went on another three-goal run. Pickup notched his hat trick at 14:02, followed by goals from Brad Kri (17:51) and Brad McCulley (18:49). Victoria outshot Burnaby 24-11 in the first period, which ended with a 6-1 lead.

Yingling would tally his second goal of the night at 3:48 of the second period, but Pickup would score his fourth at 9:46 to make it 7-2 Shamrocks. Ty Ewen (11:05) and James Rahe (15:32) would strike for Burnaby, but Victoria would double them up. Jacob Ruest (12:26), Jesse King (14:22), McCulley’s second (16:55), and King again (18:53; power play) would put Victoria up 11-4 after 40 minutes of play. The Shamrocks outshot the Lakers 19-14 in the second period.

Victoria coasts to a playoff berth

The third period actually saw Burnaby outscore the Shamrocks 5-4, but the game had already been decided by then. Toron Eccleston found the back of the net for the Lakers at 4:11. Rhys Duch (6:04; power play) and Pickup’s fifth goal (6:34) extended Victoria’s lead to 13-5. Marcus Klarich (8:00) and Yingling’s hat trick goal (9:10) constituted the only multi-goal run for Burnaby the entire game. Dallas Wade (14:59) and King’s second power play goal (17:22) rounded out the scoring for Victoria. The Lakers countered with Aidan Ellis (16:09) and Connor Watson (17:51; power play) to close the scoring.

Burnaby plays at New Westminster Thursday, then finishes their 2022 season hosting Langley on Tuesday 8/2. Victoria hosts Langley Friday, then plays at Maple Ridge Sunday 7/31 and at Langley Wednesday 8/3. Wins in two of the Shamrocks’ remaining three games would lock up the top seed for the WLA playoffs.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star: Jesse King, Victoria (3g, 4a)

2nd Star: Mark Yingling, Burnaby (3g, 2a)

3rd Star: Jacob Ruest, Victoria (1g, 4a)

Other Stats of Note

Shots: Victoria 57; Burnaby 40

Nick Dos Santos (Burnaby): 13 of 27 on faceoffs

Laszlo Henning/Pearson Willis/Philip Buque (Burnaby): 1 assist combined

Colin Jeffrey (Victoria): 31 saves; 0.775 sv %

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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.