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VINC AND SHAMROCKS TAKE GAME 1
09/07/2013 - 11:39am

By Craig Rybczynski -- The last time goalie Matt Vinc played in a playoff game of this significance out west, he was playing in the National Lacrosse League Championship Game for the Rochester Knighthawks. Similar to his outstanding effort in the win over the Washington Stealth, “Vno” once again backstopped his team to a one-goal victory.

Behind a 26-save effort by Vinc, and a natural hat trick by rookie Jesse King, the Victoria Shamrocks rallied to defeat the Six Nations Chiefs 5-4 in Game One of the Mann Cup Finals. His final save came as the third period expired, denying Knighthawks teammate and Major Series Lacrosse Playoff MVP Cody Jamieson.

“Every time you get a ‘W’ against a stacked Chiefs’ team it's huge,” said Vinc. “I think we need to stay focused and see as only one win and move toward Game 2.”

The best-of-seven series resumes tonight at 10:00 p.m. (EST) at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria. To watch all the action, fans can purchase the online broadcast at the Western Lacrosse Association website, www.theboxrocks.com.

“It's important to win, but it's still a seven-game series,” said Chiefs/Knighthawks forward Stephen Keogh. “We just need to play Chiefs lacrosse and play a full 60 minutes and help our ‘D’ out.”

The Six Nations’ effort was bolstered by members of the back-to-back National Lacrosse League Champion Rochester Knighthawks. Right off the bat, the Chiefs got goals from Rochester stars Jamieson, Craig Point and Johnny Powless to take a 3-1 lead after one period. At 1:38 of the second, Point scored his second of the night and it was 4-1. Jamieson assisted on the goal to finish with one goal and three assists en route to team MVP honors.

Victoria mounted a comeback in the third, courtesy of one of its unlikeliest players. Junior “A” call-up Jesse King beat Evan Kirk (39 saves) three times in the final period to give the Shamrocks the win. He connected for the first of his three straight goals at 5:39 and it was 4-3. King’s second of the contest was a power-play marker at 6:57 to tie the game at four. He finished the game by notching the game-winning marker at 9:55 off a sweet behind-the-back shot.

“The coaches said just keep shooting. I was a little nervous sometimes but you just let that go and you just shoot. When one goes in it’s like, oh that’s not hard, and you just keep going,” King told Ilindoor.com reporter Stephen Stamp. “Our other players get me open because they have to worry about everyone (else). We have such a good offense.”

In the final 10 minutes, Vinc not only thwarted Jamieson, but turned aside a breakaway attempt by Jesse Gamble with seven and a half minutes to play. Less than a minute later, Vinc got some help as Keogh rang a shot off the goal post. Other Knighthawks playing for the Chiefs last night were Sid Smith and Ian Llord, while defensemen Tyler Burton and Dylan Evans suited up for the Shamrocks.

“We were lucky to steal that one last night. That was one of the hardest games for us to win all year and it’s only going to get harder,” said Evans. “They have a ton of big-game players that will continue to challenge us.”


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