© Geraldine Brophy
Gander Flyers goalie Patty O'Brien gets his glove up as the puck shot by Western Royals Matthew Thomey comes his way during senior hockey play Sunday at the Hodder Memoriall Recreation Complex in Deer Lake. Flyers Ryan Matheson follows up the play.
DEER LAKE Matt Quinn and Brad Slaney scored two goals apiece to lead the Gander Flyers to a 6-2 victory over the Western Royals Sunday afternoon.
The matinee affair was the lone Newfoundland Senior Hockey League contest played over the weekend as a winter storm pounded the province and delivered a series of power outages throughout the province. The other two weekend matchups as league play resumed after the Christmas break â€” the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts vs the Clarenville Caribous and the Mount Pearl HJ Bartlett Electric Blades vs the Eastlink CeeBee Stars â€” were cancelled and will be played at a date yet to be determined by league officials.
Saturdayâ€™s game between the Royals and Flyers was cancelled due to power issues in the airport town, but it was clear Sunday afternoon the Flyers were showing no ill effects.
The Flyers, who moved out of the cellar in the six-team provincial senior hockey setup with the two points against the East-Division opponent, had a lot of energy and continued to press the Royals from puck drop to take the home team out of the game early.
James Lanning and Grant Donovan rounded out the scoring parade for the Flyers, who held a 3-0 lead after the first period and pushed the spread to five goals after 40 minutes.
Michael Hynes and Matthieu Berube scored for the Royals, both markers coming in the late stages of the third period in a futile attempt to rally back from a bad start.
Bryan Gillis was removed from the crease by Royals coach Ed Kearsey after Slaney scored his second goal of the game, at 6:42 of the second period to make it 5-0, in favour of Brad Dyke â€” who was making his first appearance between the pipes since joining the Royals before the Christmas break.
Quinn opened the scoring for the Flyers just 82 seconds into the game when he took a soft pass in the high slot and one-timed a snapshot high over the glove of Gillis.
Grant Donovan made it 2-0 for the Flyers at 4:21 with a nice solo effort on a penalty kill, stripping a Royals defender of the puck and skating the length of the ice before a nice deke hung Gillis out to dry on the play.
Slaney gave the Flyers a 3-0 advantage at 6:42 when he took a long pass from inside his teamâ€™s blueline and skated in all alone to stuff it past Gillis.
Lanning scored on a partial breakaway at 4:36 of the second period for a 4-0 advantage after he stripped Royals defender Parker Deighan of the puck while the Royals had the Flyers hemmed in their own end on one of a few occasions that the Royals mounted any sustained pressure in the contest.
Quinn scored his second goal of the game on a power play at 8:20 of the final stanza with assists going to Chad Locke and Ryan Mattheson.
Hynes spoiled Oâ€™Brienâ€™s bid for the shutout when he tapped the puck into an empty net at the side of the cage at 15:43 after finishing off a neat tic-tac-toe with veterans Darren Langdon and Mark Robinson.
Berube banged home a loose rebound with just under two minutes left in regulation to give the Royals fans something to cheer about, but a comeback wasnâ€™t in the cards as the Flyers put up a defensive wall inside their own end to protect the lead and two very big points.
Gillis had a shaky start, but his counterpart at the other end Paddy Oâ€™Brien kept his team in the game with a number of saves at close range and the Flyers defence corps proved to be solid in their own with a physical presence that matched the hard-hitting attack of the Royals that was absent on this afternoon for most of the contest.
Royals import Parker Deighan let his frustrations get the best of him as he received a five-minute major and automatic game misconduct for checking from behind with just over three minutes left in regulation.
Import defenceman Nathan Saunders didnâ€™t play for the Royals, while imports Rob Mignardi and Peter Campbell werenâ€™t available for the Flyers.
The Royals will try to get back on winning track this weekend with a home-and-home series with the league-leading East powerhouse Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
The Royals put out the welcome mat for Saturday 7:30 p.m., while the two teams will lock horns in a Sunday matinee 2 p.m. at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor.
DEER LAKE Matt Quinn and Brad Slaney had two goals each as the Gander Flyers
dumped the Western Royals 6-2 Sunday.
Michael Hynes and Matthieu Berube scored for the Royals in the third period.
(After second period)
DEER LAKE The Gander Flyers hold a commanding 5-0 lead over the Western Royals after 40 minutes of hockey at the Hodder.
Brad Slaney scored his second goal of the game and James Lanning scored the other marker to put the Flyers up 5-0.
(After first period)
DEER LAKE Chad Locke had a goal and an assist as the Gander Flyers lead the Western
Royals 3-0 after 20 minutes at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex on Sunday in Deer Lake.
Matt Quinn and Grant Donovan scored the other goals for the Flyers.