November 2, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – In a Saturday afternoon matchup at Panorama Recreation Centre, the South Island Royals welcomed the Okanagan Rockets for the first game of a weekend doubleheader. The Royals looked towards Chris Smith between the pipes, while the Rockets went with Reid Kilburn.
South Island opened the game’s scoring less than five minutes into the first period off a tally from Jacob Malloch. Off a point shot from Royals’ defender Kurtis Gamble, the puck bounced in front to Malloch who made a smooth deke around the outstretched left pad of Kilburn and deposited the puck into the vacant net. Brandon Tutte then doubled South Island’s lead just before the 10 minute mark as he raced into the Okanagan zone and threw a puck on net that eluded the Rockets’ netminder. Okanagan responded just before the end of the first as Tanner Browne finished off Cory Santaro’s centering pass from the top of the slot to make 2-1 in favor of South Island after 20 minutes.
The second stanza saw the physical edge pick up as both teams pushed the game’s next tally. Halfway through the frame, Rockets’ defender Kristan Blumenschein wristed a puck on net from the left point that beat a screened Smith, but deflected off the right post back into play. With two minutes left in the period, South Island’s Jordan Martin skated onto a loose puck and broke in all alone of Kilburn. The Royals’ forward put a backhand deke on net that squeaked through the arms of the Okanagan keeper before crossing the line. The scoreboard read 3-1 in favour of South Island after 40 minutes.
The Royals lead was stretched to 4-1 seven minutes into the final period. From the high slot Kayden Peck found Haydn Hopkins in front of goal who made a nifty deke around Kilburn to put the puck in the net. The Rockets responded after the 10 minute mark as Oliver Mitchell’s point shot deflected off a body in front of goal and beat the outstretched leg of Smith to make it a 4-2 game. Okanagan would then cut the South Island lead to just one only minutes later as Linden Hora finished a Santaro pass off a two-on-one break. With just over a minute left in the game, the Rockets pulled their goaltender for the extra man and were rewarded with the game tying marker. Off a shot from the right point, the puck bounced off several bodies before landing on the stick of Santaro to the left of the crease who quickly placed it past the South Island netminder. Royals 4 Rockets 4
Okanagan outshot South Island 51-20.
The Royals and Rockets will conclude their two game set tomorrow morning at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, with puck-drop slatted for 9:45 a.m. South Island will the welcome the Cariboo Cougars for two games next weekend. Game one will take place on Saturday, November 9th at 4:30 p.m. with game two the next morning at 9:45 a.m. Both games will take place at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.