Bolstered by a sterling 48-save performance from netminder Nick Rose, the Coquitlam Adanacs staked out an 11-9 win over the Victoria Shamrocks in the club's Western Lacrosse Association playoff opener Saturday.
And while Rose was busy frustrating Victoria's shooters, Coquitlam got some timely offence from its big guns, with Dane Dobbie netting six points (three goals and three assists) and Jason Jones collecting four goals and an assist.
"I like the way our boys competed against a good team in a hostile environment," said Adanacs coach Bob Salt. "For just about the whole team, it was their first playoff game ever. You go to Victoria on a hot night with a big crowd, it's not easy."
The 'Rocks got both the opening and closing goals in the first period, with four Coquitlam tallies sandwiched in the middle to end the first at 4-2. The Adanacs maintained a 9-5 lead after two periods, though Victoria drew the score to 10-9 with just under two minutes to play in the final stanza.
Damon Edwards's tally with under 30 seconds to go would seal Coquitlam's win and first blood in the best-of-seven series.
The rest of the Adanac offence came from Kevin Olson's pair of goals and a shorthanded marker courtesy of Jon Harnett.
"I thought [Victoria] played really well and they really pressured us on [defence]," Salt said.
"I think they got pretty frustrated because they couldn't score on [Rose], so they took a bunch of penalties and I think we threw them off a bit."
Coquitlam entered the game with the lion's share of its roster in the midst of on-the-job-training.
Though most of the rookies have some experience competing in the postseason at the junior level, a WLA contest in August doesn't quite compare.
"The speed and the nastiness of the first period alone probably opened up a lot of the young guys' eyes," said team captain Bruce Murray. "Things that you don't get away with in the regular season, you seem to be able to get away with in the playoffs.
There were some pretty big chops, some big hits and a lot of trash talking. Nobody wants to give an inch.
It's one of those things where we've talked about it, but until you actually play it, you can't really learn about it or know what to expect.
Game 2 is slated for tonight (Wednesday) at 7: 45 p.m. at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.
[Victoria's] a good team, but we definitely could have played better," Salt said. "We can build on that game."
JUNIOR ADANACS UP 2-1 ON DELTA
The big game player lived up to his billing. Coquitlam sniper Robert Church tallied three goals, including the overtime game winner, in Monday's 8-7 win over Delta to take a 2-1 series lead.
Church's tally at 4: 08 of the extra session capped a six-point evening for the Coquitlam native, while the Adanacs outshot the Islanders 58-42.
The Adanacs enjoyed a 4-2 lead after the first and a 6-4 advantage headed into the third, before Delta responded with three goals late in the third.
Outside of Church, the Adanacs also got goals from Tyler Garrison, Ben McIntosh, Wesley Berg, Reid Reinholdt and Vincent Ricci, while netminder Davide DiRuscio turned away 35 shots.
Game 4 is slated for tonight (Wednesday) in Delta.