Royals lose to last place Jr. Mariners

Dan Boyd
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Published on February 06, 2012

Brian Naugle, second from right, celebrates the Royals’ first goal of the evening with his teammates. Naugle scored a total of two goals in the losing effort against the Mariners.

Published on February 06, 2012

There was a lot of action in front of the Royals’ net in the first period.

Published on February 06, 2012

Players waiting on the bench watch the action happening in front of the Mariners net. Pictured, from left, are Austin Himmelman, Jory Uhlman, and Jake Galbraith.

Published on February 06, 2012

Team Captain Erik Jackaman tried to keep the momentum rolling for the Royals but had his attempt on net blocked.

Published on February 06, 2012

Tyler Redden slipped one by Royals’ netminder Tyler Whynot.

Published on February 06, 2012

Within five seconds of the second period, Brian Naugle had the right to celebrate — he hammered home a goal short-handed. Also pictured is Jory Uhlman.

Published on February 06, 2012

Goalie Tyler Whynot made a lot of saves during the Friday night game but couldn’t capture this puck before it went up and over his helmet into the net. The second period goal was scored by Mariner Randy Gilbert.

 

The Windsor Royals remain the No. 1 defensive hockey club in the Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League, having allowed 72 goals in 30 games, but, if it was not for the last place Eastern Shore Jr. Mariners, their defensive record would be even more impressive.

On Feb. 3 at the Hants Exhibition Arena, the Royals lost for the third time in five games against the Mariners this season. In those five games, they have permitted the Mariners to score 20 goals against them.

This is one of those hard to figure out items in hockey when you consider how well defensively the Royals have played against other league leaders, such as Antigonish who they have shut-out twice and St. Margaret's Bay who they have limited to two and three goals the majority of the time.

Despite the Royals outshooting the Mariners 42-31 Friday night, the 42 shots were far from great scoring opportunities.

With just 1:14 seconds left in the third period, the Royals gave up a breakaway to the Mariners’ Captain Ryan Morris, who scored his second goal of the game and third point of the night to salt the game away for the last place Mariners. Morris had also opened the game's scoring with just 5:29 gone in the opening period for Eastern Shore.

Following the game's opening goal by Morris, Windsor roared back for a short period of time with goals 17 seconds apart by Brian Naugle and Joe MacDougall to move in front 2-1.

With just 1:09 to play in the opening period, the Royals allowed the Mariners to tie the game 2-2 before MacDougall took an interference penalty at the 20-minute mark of the first period. The Royals were short-handed for the opening two minutes of the second period, however, that didn’t deter Windsor from scoring. They won the opening face-off of the second, getting a quick pass over to sharp shooter Naugle who, just five seconds in, gave the Royals a 3-2 lead.

This goal, however, did not give the Royals the spark they needed to go on for a victory. It did, however, seem to inspire the Mariners, who put forth some good defense. The Mariners did not allow the Royals very much room, and in the process, managed to score three unanswered goals to win the game 5-3.

The Mariners go-ahead goal came with 7:20 gone in the second period on the power-play with the Royals’ Jeff Longaphy off for tripping. The Royals did outshoot the Mariners 15-10 in the second period and 13-7 in the third period, but as Assistant Coach Rob Lindsay said after the game, "our shots were far from excellent scoring opportunities."  

 

 

Looking forward

As of press time, Windsor was preparing for their 17th and final road game of the season, which they were to play Feb. 6 in Sackville against the Blazers.

The Royals are now looking ahead to three crucial home games to close the regular season prior to the 2011-12 Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League Playoffs.

Some hockey pundits believe with the Sackville Blazers’ recent addition of Sean Hoyt, the Blazers could potentially knock off the Bay Ducks in the opening round. However, like the Royals, the Blazers fell flat on their face in weekend action. The Blazers lost in Middle Musquodoboit to the Mariners, and as a result, held only a three-point lead over the fifth place Brookfield Elks entering play against the Royals Monday.

The Royals are looking to clinch second place and home ice advantage against the East Hants Penguins in the opening round of the best of seven semi-final show down.

The Royals have three home games remaining: Feb. 10, Feb. 15 and Feb. 17.

 

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Dan Boyd, the Hants Journal’s freelance sports writer, took over the role of interim president for the Windsor Royals near the end of 2011.

 

 

 

Organizations: Royals, Mariners, Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League Playoffs Hants Journal

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Sackville, Middle Musquodoboit

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