Flyers eke out 1-0 win over Royals in preview of first-round matchup in West

Dave Kearsey
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Chris Peach tries to get control of the puck behind the net during the second period of Sunday's game in Gander, while Flyers' forward Matt Squires pressures him. The Flyers defeated the Royals 1-0 on Sunday to conclude the three-game series.

GANDER Patrick O’Brien made 40 saves to preserve the shutout as the Gander Flyers eked out a 1-0 win over the Western Royals Sunday at the Gander Community Centre.

Shawn Wadden was the game’s only goalscorer in Sunday’s Newfoundland Senior Hockey League matinee affair.

The win allowed the Flyers to get the upper hand on the Royals in a three-game weekend that saw the Flyers win 4-2 in Deer Lake Friday night before the Royals bounced back for a 5-3 win Saturday night in Gander.

The outcome of the series really doesn’t change anything because the two teams will meet in the first round of the playoffs in a best-of-five affair that will see the winner play the first-place Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts in a best-of-seven final affair to determine the West’s representative for the Herder Memorial Trophy final.

The Royals hold down second spot in the West with 22 points on a record of 10-9-2, while the Flyers improve to 7-12-3 for 17 points, but with only weekend of hockey left the Flyers can’t catch the Royals no matter what either team does in their final two regular season games.

The Royals will close out the regular season with a two-game series against the Mount Pearl H J Bartlett Electric Blades with games scheduled for Friday 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 p.m. at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex. The Flyers will finish up the regular campaign with a two-game series against the Cataracts at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor, while the Clarenville Caribous will close out the regular season with a home-and-home series with the Eastlink CeeBee Stars with the first game being played in Harbour Grace Saturday night.

The following is a look at how things unfolded in other provincial senior hockey league games over the weekend:

Eastlink CeeBee Stars 2, Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 9 (Sunday afternoon)

The Cataracts registered a sweep of the CeeBee Stars at Joe Byrne Memorial with a 9-2 win Sunday in Grand Falls-Windsor.

Goalscorers for the game weren’t available at press time.

Clarenville Caribous 3, Mount Pearl H J Bartlett Electric Blades 6 (Sunday afternoon)

Chris Mooney had two goals and two assists to lead the Blades to victory Sunday afternoon at the Glacier in Mount Pearl.

Blake Gallagher supported the offensive surge with a goal and two helpers for the Blades, while former Caribous sniper Stephen Yetman collected three helpers.

Ryan Desrosiers, Ryan Delaney and Andrew Sweetland scored for the Caribous.

Western Royals 5, Gander Flyers 3 (Saturday night)

Scott Doody set up Stephen Simms with the game-winner just over two minutes into the third period to break a 3-3 tie and added an insurance marker at 15:07 to pave the way for the Royals Saturday night at the Gander Community Centre.

Justin Barbour, Stephen Simms, Parker Deighan, ejected from the game in the second period after a spirited fight with Flyers forward Grant Donovan, and gritty winger Colin Power rounded out the scoring for the Royals, who fell 4-2 to the Flyers Friday night at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex in a game that was rescheduled from a few weeks ago when a major storm forced the cancellation of the game.

Sean Wadden and Chad Locke had two goals apiece to lead the Flyers past the Royals Friday night at the Hodder Memorial Recreation Complex.

Mark Robinson and Darren Langdon scored for the Royals as Brad Dyke got the start between the pipes.

Clarenville Caribous 8, Mount Pearl H J Bartlett Electric Blades 2 (Saturday night)

Keith Delaney had a two-goal game to lead the Caribous to victory over the Blades Saturday night at the Glacier in Mount Pearl to clinch top spot in East Division standings.

Andrew Sweetland, Ryan Desrosiers, Ryan Delaney, Martin Lapointe, Chad Earle and Kenny Mahoney also scored for the Caribous.

Spencer Jezegou and Ryan Graham scored for the Blades.

Eastlink CeeBee Stars 2, Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts 6 (Saturday night)

Andre Gill had a goal and two helpers to lead the charge for the league-leading Cataracts in Saturday’s contest at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium.

Cam Fergus and Brandon Nicholas had a goal and an assist each for the Cats, while single markers were added to the scoring parade by Brandon Street, Andrew Pearcey and Alex Dalley.

Import Ben Duffy and Ray Dalton lit the lamp for the defending champions from Harbour Grace.

Organizations: Flyers, Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, Blades.Eastlink CeeBee Stars 2

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Deer Lake, Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium Grand Falls Grand Falls-Windsor.Goalscorers Brandon Street

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