south Island Royals

October 5, 2013, Victoria, BC – On a Saturday morning the South Island Royals welcomed the Valley West Hawks to Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for the second game of a weekend doubleheader.

Chris Smith was given the nod in the Royals’ crease, while the Hawks looked to Kyle Cheema.

The opening half of the first period saw the two exchange opportunities, but it was South Island that had the best chance to grab the game’s first goal. On the man advantage defenceman Kurtis Gamble threw a shot from the left point on net that eluded Cheema, but bounced off the right post back into play. The Royals continued to press and were rewarded with five minutes left to play in the period. From the right half-boards, forward Cam Coutre found Nick Guiney in the slot who easily tapped the puck between the pads of the Valley West goaltender. Duncan Cochrane then extended the South Island lead before the end of frame when he broke in alone and fired a shot blocker side. After 20 minutes of play, the Royals were up 2-0.

The Hawks found themselves with a powerplay opportunity within the opening minutes of the second stanza, but South Island notched their third of the game shorthanded. Royals’ forward Haydn Hopkins stole the puck in the neutral zone and burst in alone before he converted a nice backhand deke over the blocker of Cheema. Valley West then found their first of the contest before the 10 minute mark on the man advantage as Luke Gingras slotted home a centering pass from Davis Koch.

Matt Bradley then cut the South Island lead to 3-2 with six minutes to play when he snapped a loose puck past Smith from the right face-off circle. Jacob Malloch restored a Royals two goal lead with 43 seconds remaining in the period after he took a pass in tight and outwaited Cheema before he slipped the puck into the cage. South Island took a 4-2 lead into the final 20 minutes.

Gingras looked to bring the Hawks within one less than two minutes into the third frame off a shot from the left wing, but Smith quickly snagged the puck out of the air for the flashy glove save. However, Koch would make it a one goal game six minutes from the final buzzer off a backhand shot from in tight that eluded the blocker of South Island keeper. Valley West pulled Cheema in the final minute of play as they looked for the tying marker, but Guiney would add an empty net tally to ensure the victory. Royals 5 Hawks 3

South Island now travels to Kamloops, BC for two games versus the Thompson Blazers next weekend. The Royals will return to Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre two weeks from now when they welcome the Vancouver NE Chiefs for a pair of games. Game one will go on Saturday, October 19th at 4:30 p.m. with game two the following day at 10:00 a.m.