September 21, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – On a Saturday afternoon at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the South Island Royals played host to the Greater Vancouver Canadians to kick-off their 2013-14 British Columbia Major Midget League (BCMML) regular season.
South Island looked towards Chris Smith between the pipes, while Greater Vancouver went with Sergio Del-Linz.
Just over one minute into the opening frame, Royals’ forwards Duncan Cochrane and Brandon Tutte broke in on a two-on-one rush. Cochrane fed an open Tutte in the slot, but the forward found his shot turned away by the Canadians’ netminder to keep it scoreless. Greater Vancouver then looked to stake themselves to an early lead minutes later on the man advantage, but found their chances denied by Smith. The teams continued to battle back and forth for the remainder of the period, but neither could find the opening tally and headed into the intermission scoreless.
The Canadians would break the deadlock early into the middle period off of a goal from Sean Gillespie. On the powerplay, defenceman Scott Munro wired a shot from the point that was redirected into the net by Gillespie to the left the crease. Prior to the 10-minute mark, Royals’ winger Haydn Hopkins chased down a Greater Vancouver defender and broke in alone on Del-Linz. Hopkins quickly rifled a shot under the crossbar and over the blocker of the Canadians’ keeper to tie the game at 1-1. The Canadians responded just minutes later on their second powerplay marker of the period after a loose puck bounced off Kyle Uy in front of goal and past Smith. After 40 minutes of play, Greater Vancouver led 2-1.
The Canadians stretched their lead to 3-1in the opening minutes of the final period. Off of a face-off to the right of the South Island goaltender, centre Dante Hannoun pushed the puck through the dot before he threaded a pass to Braeden Gurney in the slot who converted an easy tap-in. Greater Vancouver added their fourth before the halfway mark when Ryan Jones fired a shot over the blocker of Smith from the right face-off circle. With three minutes remaining, Cochrane pulled South Island within two when he buried a rebound past Del-Linz from the right side of the net. The Royals would pull Smith for the extra attacker and were rewarded with their third one minute before the final buzzer. Forward Nick Guiney corralled the puck off the end boards before his shot deflected off of a skate into the net. The Canadians, however, would add an empty net goal before time expired to ensure the victory. Canadians 5 Royals 3.
Greater Vancouver outshot South Island 26-23.
The Royals and Canadians will meet again as they finish their two-game set tomorrow morning at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre. Game time is slated for 9:00 a.m.