We knew coming into the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association season that Victoria was a team on a mission. That’s not to discount the goals of other WLA teams, but the Shamrocks were thisclose to a Mann Cup last year, so there’s a score to be settled. And speaking of scores, the Shamrocks are doing lots of that. They lead the WLA with 77 goals, 6 more than 2 other WLA teams. But those 2 other teams have played 8 games, while the Shamrocks have 7. The point? Victoria’s offense is dropping the hammer with an authoritative pace so it should be no surprise to find 2 Shamrocks in Rhys Duch and Corey Small among the 3 Stars, along with Curtis Dickson in Maple Ridge.
Rhys Duch, Victoria Shamrocks
He’s been about as consistent as it gets for any player, scoring no fewer than 4 points in any of his 6 games this season. But this past week, he was big with 13 points on 8 goals and 5 assists in road wins over Langley and Burnaby. His natural hat trick to start the second period against Langley helped Victoria pull away from a 2-2 tie and his fourth goal against Burnaby ignited a 4-0 run in the third period that iced the win.
Curtis Dickson, Maple Ridge Burrards
OK, so 8 points on 5 goals and 3 assists isn’t the most impressive total of the week. But that points total came in his first 2 games of the season for Maple Ridge. It also just happened to help the Burrards win 2 straight and put them all alone in second place behind Victoria. Two straight wins may not sound like much, but when it helps your team snap a 3-game funk, the context magnifies the impact.
Corey Small, Victoria Shamrocks
We mentioned consistency for Rhys Duch and his first star, and Corey Small is no different. He’s leading the ‘Rocks in scoring with 42 points and recording 14 points on 4 goals and 10 assists in 2 games is just a small example of what he’s being doing all season. His 10-point effort (2-8) in the win over Burnaby was his third game this season with 7 or more points. Small is just 1 more stick in a balanced arsenal that’s keeping the momentum rolling for unbeaten Victoria.
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