CORNER BROOK — Brett Morrison’s goal in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Western Royals hung on tight for a 6-4 win over the Gander Flyers Sunday afternoon.
The victory gave the Royals a split in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League two-game set after the hometown Flyers eked out a 4-3 triumph Saturday night at the Gander Community Centre.
Heading into the Christmas break, the victory allows the Royals to take over sole possession of third place in the standings with 12 points.
The Flyers and Eastlink CeeBee Stars enter the Christmas break deadlocked for the fourth and final playoff berth with 10 points each.
Mark Robinson, Darren Langdon, Scott Doody, Cory Blackmore and Stephen Simms (empty-netter) also scored for the Royals, who held a 5-2 advantage after 40 minutes of hockey.
Chad Locke, Spencer Corcoran, Tyler Gale and Andrew White supplied the offence for the expansion Flyers.
Import puckstopper Bryan Gillis was solid between the pipes for the Royals in his first win in four-straight starts since being acquired by the Royals two weeks ago. Paddy O’Brien took the loss in the crease for the Flyers.
On Saturday night, O’Brien outduelled Gillis in the crease as the Flyers eked out a 4-3 win on a stormy night in central Newfoundland.
Grant Donovan scored the eventual game-winner for the Flyers, while single markers were added to the scoresheet by Ryan Matheson, Chad Locke and Sean Wadden.
Darren Langdon, Mark Robinson and Mike Lee scored for the Royals.
The following is a look at how things played out in the two-game weekend series between the league-leading Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts and Clarenville Caribous at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium:
Cataracts 6, Caribous 5 (SO)
Andrew Pearcey scored the winning goal in the shootout to lead the Cataracts to a come-from-behind win against his former teammates Sunday afternoon at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium.
Blake Gallagher notched a hat trick for the Cataracts, while Brandon Nicholas and Chris Peach rounded out the scoring summary for the
The Cataracts (13-1) enter the Christmas break in first place with only one loss and a 10-point lead on the second-seed Caribous.
The Caribous, who watched a 5-2 lead slip away, had five different players dent the twine — Dustin Russell, Andrew Sweetland, Brandon Roach, Stephen Oates and Stephen Yetman.
Cataracts 5, Caribous 2 (Saturday night)
Ryan Graham had the game-winning goal and an assist to lead the charge for the Cataracts on home ice Saturday night.
Andre Gill scored twice for the Cats, while Brandon Nicholas added a power-play goal and an assist to the scoresheet.
Wes Welcher also scored for the Cats and former scoring West Coast Senior Hockey League scoring champion Andrew Pearcey collected a trio of assists.
Import Jeff Caron, recently brought back to booville to fill an import card on the back-end, scored a brace of power-play goals for the Caribous.