Royals Earn Third Split

Updated: November 17, 2014

The Corner Brook Royals have to be pleased with their performance in the early goings of the Central West Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.  They have walked away with their third straight split and given their opponents and performance, this was no easy task.

In their opening series away from home, the Corner Brook Royals headed into Clarenville and handed the Caribous as loss in their home opener.  They walked away from that series with a split, after they dropped their second game.  In their next series, the Caribous were in Corner Brook and the Royals came up with a gutsy performance to take their home opener in a shoot-out win.

This past weekend, the Royals were facing the league leading and defending champions Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, pulling off an impressive 3-2 win on Saturday night, only to drop a heart breaker by a score of 3-1 in the Sunday match-up.

In earning the split this past weekend, the Royals have demonstrated that they can compete with the best in the league and win.  Ross Coates and his Royals have shown early in the season that they are serious about bringing the Herder Memorial Trophy back to Corner Brook.

In the split this past weekend, the Royals weathered the early attack by the Cataracts.  They were pinned in their own zone for much of the first five minutes before making some adjustments to their attack.  Despite being down 1-0 after the first period of game 1, the Royals came back with 3 unanswered goals in the second period and then held off the Cataracts to take game one of the series by a score of 3-2.

Game 2 was much of the same thing in the opening period.  The Royals used the open ice to their advantage and left the first period with a 1-0 lead.  The Cataracts responded in the second to tie the score before taking a 2-1 lead into the dressing room.  Despite the Royals best effort in the third period, the Cataracts scored again to make it 3-1.  However, in watching the game it was in my opinion, a great effort by the Corner Brook Royals allowing them to take a split at home.

The series against the Clarenville Caribous and the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts was a great test for the Corner Brook Royals.  The Bous and Cats have been the best two teams in the league for the last several years and to come away with splits in each of these series was a major accomplishment.  A bounce here or a bounce there the Royals could have won either of these series.

It was impressive to watch Bryan Gillis between the pipes.  In all conversations with fans who watched all the series, Gillis is playing great hockey.  He has made big save after big save to keep his team in the games and this has given the Royals a chance to win.  Despite some of the hopefuls such as Hunter Tremblay and Chris Hulit not producing like the Royals would want, there are some bright stars rising.  Matt Bragg is playing great hockey and has shown his work ethic each and every game.  Derick Martin has shown that he will be a force to reckon with and import Phil Mangan is definitely showing he was a great acquisition.

The Royals currently sit in third place with 3 wins and 3 losses as the head into action against the Gander Flyers.  The Flyers are struggling as of late and even though they have won against the Cataracts and tied against the Caribous, they sit in the basement with just 3 points.  If the Royals show up to play the Flyers like they have the Caribous and the Cataracts, it will be another long two days for the Gander Flyers.

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