by Bryden Burrell
January 12, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – In a Sunday morning matchup at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the South Island Royals played the Thompson Blazers in the second game of a weekend doubleheader. Markus Daly started in net for the Royals, while Bailey De Palma manned the Blazers’ crease.
South Island looked to open the scoring with an early man advantage, but it was Thompson who struck first shorthanded. On a two-on-one break, the puck came cross-crease to Brenden Semchuk who buried a shot over the blocker of Daly. Semchuk then added a powerplay marker for the visitors just prior to the halfway mark of the first frame as snapped a shot past the Royals’ netminder from the top of the left circle. Alex Astasiemicz added a third for the Blazers late in the period as they led South Island 3-0 after 20 minutes.
South Island got on the scoreboard just over a minute into the middle stanza. On a scrum in front of the Thompson net, the puck came to the stick of Duncan Cochrane who took a few swipes before it bounced past De Palma. The Royals cut the Blazers lead to 3-2 on a five-on-three man advantage at the five minute mark. After working the puck around the perimeter, Brandon Tutte one timed a shot on net from the right circle that De Palma stopped, but Tutte quickly followed up the play to bury the rebound. South Island completed the comeback with nine minutes remaining in the frame as Nick Guiney skated through the Thompson zone and roofed a shot over the glove of the Blazers’ netminder as the scoreboard read 3-3. Ben Grist gave the Royals their first lead of the game 45 seconds later as his right point shot bounced off the glove of De Palma and into the net. Guiney notched his second of the game late in the period as he converted Haydn Hopkins centering pass as South Island skated into the second intermission with a 5-3 lead.
The Blazers looked for their fourth of the contest as they were awarded a penalty shot early into the final frame. On the ensuing play, Dexter Robinson put a shot five-hole, but Daly quickly got his pads down to deny the shooter. However, Astasiemicz made it a one goal game less than two minutes later as he rifled a shot off the crossbar and into the net from the high slot. Cochrane restored the Royals two goal advantage six minutes from the final buzzer as he sniped a shot over the right shoulder of the Thompson goaltender to round out the games scoring. Royals 6 Blazers 4.
South Island will now head out on the road for two games on the mainland versus the Greater Vancouver Canadians. The Royals will then return home the following weekend for two games against the Kootenay Ice. Game one is scheduled for Saturday, January 25th at 4:30 p.m. with game two the next day at 10:00 a.m. Both games will take place at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.