After 40 minutes, the tide had taken a 360 degree turn. And by the end of the game, one team came out with a huge victory while leaving the other gasping for breath as they try to find a way to solve the other team for a whole 60 minutes. In the end, it would be the Powell River Regals who would score 4 consecutive goals in the second period, en route to a 5-2 victory on home ice. The series is now 2-0 for the Regals and the Flyers will now need to win 3 straight hockey games if they want to defend their 5-time defending Savage Cup champ status.
The first period would quickly establish itself as the most exciting period of the series to date; mostly on behalf of the Flyers, who outshot the Regals 16-9 but could not solve netminder David Brumby. Brumby made 5 or 6 saves that should have goals, as did Clayton Pool at the other end, despite facing nearly half the shots. Just two penalties would be called in the opening frame, with each team killing off successfully. The only thing aside from big saves that would get fans on their feet was a huge hit by Aaron Schepers of the Flyers on to Chris Tarr of the Regals who would leave to the dressing room but would return minutes late. Tarr cleared the puck from the zone just as Schepers was incoming and it resulted in Tarr going spread eagle on the boards before quickly going to the bench.
As the Flyers knew they had the momentum going in to the second, it would take under 20 seconds to finally beat Brumby, as Mat Alexander would beat the former ECHL starter to open the scoring on a play that was momentarily the game changer. Alexander would later leave the game and not return due to a minor injury; but during his time on the ice, he played the hardest of anyone on either of the teams; and the goal was certainely well deserved. The Flyers would battle hard but the Regals would strike back 10 minutes later, with a Elias Godoy goal that was set up on a nifty pass in the spot from Scott Kirton. The deadlock would last just 2:29 as the Regals would capitalize on the power play, on a Dale Lupul point shot that beat Pool over the right shoulder. With a one goal lead, the Regals started to attempt longer passes, and the man who has long pass written all over him, John Coyle; would make no mistake in burying his first with 3:06 remaining in the middle frame. Then, just 37 seconds later, Coyle would again capitalize on a Flyer mistake, sniping one under the glove of Pool for a 3 goal lead late in the second. Both teams took 3 penalties in the second, to bring the power play opportunities to an even 11 for each team through 5 periods of the Savage Cup. Shots in the second would be 14-6 in favor of the Regals, proving that in no way were they going to just roll over.
Another 16 shots in the third period for the Flyers would be necessary, and that's exactly what they did. The Regals would also match their first period total of 9 in the third, but it would only take one of those shots to really bury the win. Taylor Greatrex would pull the Flyers within two with 6:54 remaining, on a weak shot from the point that snuck through the legs of Brumby and in to the back of the net. The Flyers would play the next couple of shifts very hard, but a turnover in the neutral zone would lead to ex-Victoria Salsa Blair Tassone wiring a slap shot under the blocker of Pool to restore the 3 goal lead, as the Flyers bench looked on in disbelief. The Regals would get a power play late in the game off of a questionable call on Michael Olson, who looked better and better as the night went on. The power play would be unable to generate anything as Aaron Schepers pinned the puck to the boards deep in the corner, which he used his strong frame to fight off Regal opposition for the final 45 seconds of the contest. The final buzzer would sound and Dave Brumby would make 38 stops to lead his team to a 5-2 win and a 2-0 series lead over the Flyers going in to Saturday night's game, in which the Savage Cup will be in house. Final shots on goal in the game would be 40 for the Flyers, and 30 for the Regals, many of which came on the powerplay, one area in particular where Pool played well.
Quickly touching a few other thoughts about the game; the Flyers welcomed Rick Cleaver and Gary Gladue in to their lineup, and both players played very well from the getgo but by the end were leading the Flyers attack; along with Michael Olson and Jason Deleurme, who seemed to settle in as the game wore on. Also having very strong games for the Flyers was Todd, Dave and Mat Alexander, Luke Middleton and youngster Taylor Greatrex. At the end of the day, it has to be said that most of the Flyers played an efficient game, but a few costly mistakes and missed saves and blocks, would cost them the game.
Next game for the Flyers and Regals will be tomorrow night at the Hap Parker Arena in Powell River, as the Flyers will fight for their Allan Cup contention lives. Not only is the spot as host for the McKenzie Cup on the line, but also the Flyers 5-time defending Savage Cup champions is on the line. The Savage Cup will be in house for Dunc McCallum Jersey Retirement Night at the Hap; which begins at 7:30. You can catch the game online at energeticcity.ca/moosefm or tune in on the radio at 100.1 Moose FM!