© Matt Molloy/TCâ€¢Media
CAT ATTACK â€” Andre Gill of the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts rips a wrist shot towards Western Royalsâ€™ goalie Bryan Gillis. Gill and the Cataracts picked up the 4-3 overtime win on Saturday night to open the West final.
Rob Hennigarâ€™s overtime goal lifted the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts to a 4-3 overtime win over the Western Royals in game one of the Western final.
Played in front of a packed Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor Saturday night, Hennigar one-timed a Cam Fergus cross-ice pass by Bryan Gillis not even two minutes into the extra frame to give the Cats the game-one win.
The Cataracts lead the best-of-seven series 1-0, with game two going tomorrow in Grand Falls-Windsor.
The Cataracts, who last played on Feb. 9 against the Clarenville Caribous, came out slow, and the Royals took full advantage.
Justin Barbour converted a Stephen Simms pass moments after the Royals were charged with a too-many-players-on-the-ice penalty to open the scoring.
Minutes later, Scott Doody served two minutes for slashing, and mere moments after stepping out of the box, scored to give the visiting Royals a 2-0 lead.
However, the Cataracts opened the second period with a quick power-play goal by Hennigar to cut the Royalsâ€™ lead to 2-1. The power-play goal came just 28 seconds into the second.
Fergus tied the game moments later with a goal that sent the hometown Catsâ€™ fans into hysterics. Fergus went one-on-one against Gillis, and went backhand before roofing the puck to tie the game 2-2.
After the third period ended, security had to rush into the stands to interrupt an altercation between fans of the two teams.
The opening 10 minutes of the third period was rather lackluster, but the last 10 minutes certainly made up for it.
With less than four minutes left in regulation, moments after the Royals killed a Doody penalty, Andrew Brennan went hard to the net and beat Gillis to give the home side its first lead of the game.
However, Sam Hounsell was called for roughing with 1:58 left in regulation, and the Royals capitalized. Defenceman Parker Deighan left the blue line and went into the play. He found the puck, and put one behind Whiffen with 42.8 seconds left to tie it.
Game two of the series takes place at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Joe Bryne arena.