Newfoundland Senior Hockey has seen its share of controversy in the past....
Royals Advance to Finals
The Corner Brook Royals secured a spot in the Central West Newfoundland Senior Hockey League (CWSHL) finals on Sunday with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Clarenville Caribous. With the win on Sunday, the Royals won the semi-final series 4-3.
On Saturday night, the Corner Brook Royals hoped to finish the series heading into action as they held a 3-2 series lead. The Clarenville Caribous struck early when Ryan Delaney scored at the 4:45 mark of the first period to put the Caribous up 1-0. The Royals responded at the 14:06 marker when import Ryan Salvis scored to knot the score at 1-1 after the first period. In the second period, the Caribous scored when Chad Earle gave the Caribous a 2-1 lead at the 9:40 mark, allowing his team to take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after the second period. In the third period, Earle knotted his second goal, scoring at the 2:42 mark on the power play. The Royals pulled to within a single goal when Salvis scored his second of the game at 9:36 to make the score 3-2.
Despite pouring everything they had at the Caribous netminder Jason Churchill, the Royals were unable to score to tie the game. Churchill faced 45 shots in the game to take the win and force a game 7 on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday afternoon, the Corner Brook Royals came out on a mission. After a rocky start on Saturday night, the Royals were firing on all cylinders and their persistence paid off. After pinning the Caribous in their own end, the veteran Royal Mark Robinson scored at the 8:26 mark, tipping a Dave MacDonald shot past Caribous goalie Jason Churchill. Late in the first period, Royals Ryan Penney scored at the 19:12 mark to give the Royals a 2-0 lead after the first period.
The second period saw no scoring. However, the Caribous Jason Churchill suffered an apparent injury and struggled through the rest of the period, continuing to make big save after big save. It was later confirmed after the game that Churchill had suffered a groin injury.
In the third period, the Royals sealed the victory when the Royals defenseman Justin Pender scored an empty net goal to make it 3-0. The Caribous outshot the Royals 20 – 12 in the final period as they threw everything they could muster at Bryan Gillis.
The Corner Brook Royals Bryan Gillis picked up the shut-out victory, stopping all 45 shots he faced. Jason Churchill, despite being injured, played his heart out, facing 52 shots.
The Clarenville Caribous put up a valiant effort despite missing Andrew Sweetland, Brandon Roache and Franklin MacDonald.