South Island Royals Get First Ever Major Midget Win


September 29, 2012, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Goals by Thomas Sercombe and Brandon Tutte less than two minutes apart gave the South Island Royals a 3-1 victory over Fraser Valley in BC Hockey Major Midget League action Saturday at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria.

In a Saturday afternoon matchup at Bear Mountain Arena, the South Island Royals played host to the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds in the first game of a weekend doubleheader. The Royals gave Jesse Jenks the start in goal, while the Thunderbirds countered with Josh Matzek.

The first 10 minutes of the game saw South Island control a majority of the play forcing Matzek to make a couple quality stops in the Thunderbird goal. Just before the halfway mark of the frame Fraser Valley looked to counter on a 2-on-1 rush. From the right side Francis Bamford controlled the puck and put a quick shot on Jenks, but the South Island goaltender quickly turned the puck aside to keep the game scoreless. The Royals best chance of the period came with four minutes to play after defenceman Thomas Sercombe threw a puck on net from the left point. The puck took a strange deflection in front of goal, but the Thunderbirds’ netminder flashed out the left pad to make the save. The team’s took a scoreless tie into the second period.

Fraser Valley looked to break the deadlock early in second period on the man advantage. From the left point, defender Jayden Gilding unleashed a slap shot that hit the right post of the Royals’ net before it bounced under Jenks for the whistle. The teams would exchange chances for the next 10 minutes of the period, but both goaltenders continued their strong play in net to keep the game scoreless. With six minutes left to play, the Royals went on the powerplay and had a great chance to net the game’s first goal. Royals’ forward Nick Guiney skated into the zone and put a powerful slap shot on net from the high slot that looked to have rippled the mesh, but was declared no goal as play continued. After 40 minutes, the team’s were still knotted in a 0-0 tie.

The Thunderbirds finally broke the scoreless draw five minutes into the third period. Forward Dylan Kooner circled out from the left corner and fed Landyn Hickmott in the slot who rifled a shot over the glove of Jenks for the 1-0 lead. South Island would respond with six minutes left in regulation on a 3-on-1 rush to tie the game up 1-1. Sercombe rushed down the left side and looked off a pass before he released a shot past the glove on Matzek. The Royals would then grab their first lead of the game less than two minutes later when Brandon Tutte corralled a puck in the slot. The South Island forward quickly put the shot on goal that beat glove of the Fraser Valley keeper. With just over one minute remaining, the Thunderbirds pulled their goaltender, but Cole Pickup notched the empty net marker to insure the victory. South Island 3 Fraser Valley 1

The Royals outshot the Thunderbirds 38-35.

Game two of South Island’s doubleheader with the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds will happen tomorrow, Sunday, September 30th at 9:30 a.m. at Bear Mountain Arena. The Royals will then welcome the Valley West Hawks for two games to conclude their six game home stand. Game one will take place on Saturday, October 6th at 4:30 p.m., while game two is scheduled for the following day at 10:00 a.m. Both games will take place at the Save-0n-Foods Memorial Centre.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.