DEER LAKE Bryan Gillis outduelled A Jâ€ˆWhiffen in the crease and Justin Barbour was the offensive spark plug with a two-goal game as the Western Royals knocked off the league-leading Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 5-3 for the first time this season Saturday night at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex.
Michael Hynes had an empty net goal and an assist for the Royals, while Matthieu Berube and Mark Robinson rounded out the scoring parade. Scott Doody, playing the pivot on a hulking trio that included Berube and Andrew Smith who played with a lot of energy and aggressive forecheck, picked up two assists in the victory in front of the hometown fans.
Kyle McGuirk, Andre Gill and Cam Fergus scored for the Cataracts.
The Royals picked up a big win with some key personnel missing from the lineup. Talented rearguard Parker Deighan didnâ€™t play because he was serving a suspension for a hit-from-behind call against the Flyers last weekend, Brian Barker was nursing an injury and Ryan Penney wasnâ€™t available because of family commitments.
The Royals will tangle with the Cataracts today at 2 p.m. at the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in the second game of the home-and-home series between the two West rivals.
Also Saturday night, the Eastlink CeeBee Stars downed the Gander Flyers 6-1 with Roger Kennedy sharp in the crease in his first game as a member of the defending champions after being acquired via trade for journeyman forward Chad Earle earlier in the week.
Ben Duffy, signed by an import card earlier this week after the team secured the services of Kennedy, had two goals and an assist in his debut.
Matt Quinn, who also signed to an import card with the CeeBee Stars after spending last weekend playing with the Gander Flyers, had a goal in his debut with the defending champs.
Ray Dalton, Colin Feehan and Matthew Bragg also scored for the winners, who held a 2-0 advantage after 40 minutes.
Steve Brail was the only Flyer to beat Kennedy.
In Clarenville, Ryan Desrosiers scored twice to lead the Clarenville Caribous to a 6-3 victory over the Mount Pearl Hâ€ˆJâ€ˆBartlett Electric Blades to push the Caribous within three points of the league-leading Cataracts.
The Blades will try to earn a split with todayâ€™s game slated for 2 p.m. at the Clarenville Events Centre, while Kennedy will be trying to get the CeeBee Stars a sweep on home ice when they clash with the Flyers today 2 p.m. at the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium.