Photos by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

February 9, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – In a Saturday afternoon clash at the Bear Mountain Arena, the South Island Royals took on the Okanagan Rockets in the first game of a back-to-back weekend set.

The Royals looked to Jesse Jenks in goal, while the Rockets went with Brenden Mills.

The opening half of the first period would see Okanagan control the majority of the play as they looked for an early lead, which was highlighted by a shot in the slot by Spencer Hewson that was turned aside by Jenks. The Rockets hard work would pay off as they would beat the South Island netminder with five minutes left in the period. On a break into the Royals zone, Justin Marreck found Branden Wagner all alone who made a quick deke to his right before roofing the puck over the glove of Jenks. Wagner’s goal would hold up as the only marker of the period as Okanagan led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play.

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Royal takes air when Rocket player makes contact – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

South Island looked to respond early into the middle frame on an individual rush from Jordan Martin. The Royals’ forward took the puck in the neutral zone before he drove past a Rockets defender towards the goal, but found his backhand roll just past the left post. The teams would exchange offensive chances for most of period before South Island would find their first late in the period to tie the game 1-1. On a 3-on-2 rush, forward Nick Guiney dropped the puck from Martin in the high slot who fired a quick shot over the glove of Mills. The scoreboard read 1-1 after two periods of play.

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Teams display a desperate scramble for the puck – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

Okanagan would regain the lead five minutes into the final period off a tally from Josh Blanchard. From the right half-wall, a shot found its way onto Jenks that was turned aside, but Blanchard found the rebound and poked it through the legs of the Royals’ keeper for the 2-1 lead. The Rockets then looked to push their lead to two a couple minutes later on the man advantage.

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Royals’ Cole Pickup races the puck down the ice – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

While up a man, Marreck made a toe drag in the slot before taking a shot, but Jenks quickly snagged the puck out of the air for the nice glove stop. With a minute left in the game, the Royals pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker, but were unable to find the tying marker as Okanagan held on for the win, 2-1 Royals.

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Jesse Jenks makes a save for the Royals – Photo by Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

South Island and Okanagan will conclude their two game set tomorrow morning at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Puck drop is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. The Royals will then wrap-up their home portion of the BCMML regular season next weekend with two games against the Thompson Blazers. Game one is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. at Panorama Recreation Centre, while Game two will take place at 12:30 p.m. at Westhills Arena.