by Bryden Burrell
January 11, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – On a Saturday afternoon at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the South Island Royals played host to the Thompson Blazers in the first game of a two game set. The Royals looked to Markus Daly between the pipes, while the Blazers countered with Daniel Toews.
The opening half of the first period saw South Island control a majority of the play. This was highlighted by an end-to-end rush from forward Jacob Malloch whose final shot was turned aside by Toews. However, Thompson found the opening marker with six minutes left in the frame as defenceman Cody Allen rifled a shot past Daly from the top of the right circle. The Blazers stretched their lead to two only four minutes later on a powerplay marker from Zander Buchanon. After 20 minutes of play, Thompson led 2-0.
The Royals cut into the Blazers lead just over two minutes into the middle frame as Jordan Martin picked the short side on Toews from the bottom of the right circle. Thompson looked to re-stake their two goal advantage late in the period on a two-on-zero rush. Forward Dexter Robinson fed Dante Caillier to the left of the Royals’ net, but Daly slid across to deny the shooter with his right pad. Only minutes later, the Blazers grabbed their third as Brendan Semchuk burst down the right side and beat Daly to the blocker side. Thompson took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
The Blazers had an early chance in the final stanza to stretch their lead as Semchuk snapped a shot on net from the top of the left circle that deflected off the crossbar and back into play. Toews continued to stifle the Royals’ offense as the period progressed to keep his team up 3-1. With two minutes left in the game, Daly headed to the bench for the extra attacker, but Semchuk buried an empty netter to insure the Thompson victory. Blazers 4 Royals1.
Thompson outshot South Island 30-29.
The Royals and Blazers will conclude their two-game weekend set tomorrow morning at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Puck-drop is set for 9:45 a.m.