Regals edge Blazers 5-4
Level of play surprises refs
by Glen Gibbs | Peak Sports
Published: Saturday, February 27, 2010 1:28 PM CST
Regals played their seventh game of the year against Coy Cup rival Mid Island Blazers on Saturday night and eked out a one-goal overtime victory in the Courtenay arena.
A few hundred Blazer fans took in the game that saw the Regals jump out to an early lead.
Eric Albertson opened the scoring for Powell River on the powerplay at 4:05 and Brandon Cummings added an even strength goal at 14:58 to make it 2-0 after one period.
Cummings made it 3-0 when he struck again, this time while the Regals Chad Van Dieman was serving a penalty for high sticking at 9:30 of the middle frame.
Blazers did manage to get one past Laszlo Tamasik to close to within two at the end of the second period which set up a very exciting final 20 minutes.
Scott Mastrodonato picked up an early goal to increase the lead to 4-1 but the Blazers never gave up and rallied for three straight goals to tie the game 4-4 at the end of regulation.
The overtime winner was scored by Van Dieman and came with 1:39 left to play in the extra frame.
Its been a while since Ive seen them, said coach Rick Hopper after the game, but they were good and Gary Kremsater (coach) was behind the bench and theyre going to be a force to be reckoned with.
He was referring to the upcoming Coy Cup in March and, while he has never been to the tournament himself, he thinks that the advantage lies with the visiting interior teams.
I have no idea what these other guys have, he admitted, but the big advantage for them is that theyve played a full schedule and theyll be battle-ready.
But he was quick to add, but what Ive been told by our guys is that we have a good lineup and Mid Island does too.
Speaking of battle-ready, when the team climbed down from the bus, one of the Regals looked like he had been to a war.
Sporting 10 stitches and the beginnings of a nice mark on his cheekbone was Joe Caldarone who was on the receiving end of a pass and a high hit on a rush.
Halfway through the second period, said Caldarone, Van Dieman made a pass through the neutral zone and I was just picking up the pass at the blueline and got caught with a pretty heavy hit.
I couldnt finish the game, he said, I didnt lose consciousness but I was kind of dizzy and stuff and didnt feel it was worth trying to finish the game.
His coach wasnt particularly pleased with the officials on the call saying, it was a hit to the head and it was a hard hit that wasnt clean.
You always say the ref has to do his job so someone doesnt get hurt, Hopper said, but someone did get hurt, so I grabbed the ref at the end of the period and he told me it was an automatic two and a 10 without even looking at him (Caldarone).
He said he just had his lip bleeding, continued Hopper, and I said no he didnt, hes cut all around the eye and the refs never even looked at him.
My concern in senior hockey is that officials get out there and they dont really know what level its going to be. All of a sudden theyre going holy smokes these guys are really moving around and theyre not up to this level.
Former Powell River resident Mike Fraser was on hand for the game and he will be overseeing the Coy Cup and the officials provided by BC Hockey for the tournament.
Regals next action is on Saturday February 27 against the Sechelt Hitmen. Start time is 4 pm due to the Kings game on the evening of the same day
More than 200 fans were treated to an entertaining night of mens hockey last Saturday at the Sunshine Coast Arena.
Despite the final result, a 7-3 win for the visiting Powell River Regals over the Sechelt Hitmen, all involved were happy with the game, the crowd and the enthusiasm for possibly bringing a full-time senior travelling mens team back to Sechelt.
Things didnt start off well for the Hitmen as the Regals had a 4-0 lead before the first period was five minutes old.
Mike Sullivan scored 27 seconds in, followed by Charlie McDonalds nine seconds later. McDonald made it 3-0 on the next shift at 1:07, then player/coach Andy Welsh lit the lamp at the 4:53 mark, prompting a goaltending change as James Hamilton was pulled in favour of Keith McKenzie.
Powell River was awarded a power play shortly after, but the Hitmen killed the man advantage and seemed to regain their composure. They put together a couple of good shifts and were rewarded with a goal at 8:04 as Justin Lyn completed a passing play from Nate Petzold and Mike Holmes to put Sechelt on the board.
Sechelt continued to push back and cut the score to 4-2 eight minutes later as Jared Izlat scored from Trent Turner.
The Regals got that one back on a goal by Ty Robson two minutes later, and Powell River led 5-2 after the first.
That lead stood up through a scoreless second period and into the third, when Jared Rutley scored at the 9:55 mark to make it 5-3.
With Sechelt pushing for more, Powell River put the game away as Ross Hollingsworth scored from close range and McDonald iced things with three minutes to play with his third of the game.
Regals goalie Laszlo Tamasik was solid in net, making a number of key saves, while McKenzie kept his team in the contest after that shaky start.
The first couple of shifts we were in a fog, but after that we settled down and the game was pretty even, said Hitmen Steve Stevenson. Were pretty happy with the result. This was the first time weve played together as team, so to play a team like the Regals and have a pretty good game is a great thing. Were happy with the game, and happy with the fans.
The two teams will square off in Powell River on Feb. 26 and then return to Sechelt for a game on March 6.