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Regals victorious in round robin action

McLaren records six assists in game against Hitmen
Glen Gibbs

Powell River Regals’ dominance over their West Coast Senior Men’s Hockey League opposition was complete last week when they trounced Sunshine Coast Hitmen 11-5 on Friday night.

The lopsided victory, combined with a 7-3 win last week over Mid Island Blazers, gives them home ice advantage in a best of three series to see who will win the McCallum Cup and go on to represent the coast in Prince Rupert at the Coy Cup Championship.

Regals never know what to expect when they make the trip to Sechelt, but given their past games they braced themselves for a 20-minute burst of energy from the Hitmen.

In this game, however, Regals matched the offensive thrust and outscored the Hitmen 4-3 in the first period.

Eric Albertson, who has really developed offensively, got the first when he scored at the two-minute mark.

Hitmen hit back with two goals in 16 seconds to take the lead 2-1 and from there the see-saw battle continued until the buzzer signalled the end of the period with the Regals leading 4-3.

If they thought they could sit on the slim lead they were mistaken as the Hitmen rallied early and tied the game 4-4 just three minutes into the second period.

That’s when things fell apart for the home team however, as they got into penalty trouble and the Regals took full advantage.

They scored five goals in the second half of the period to just one for the Hitmen and when the dust had settled, Regals led 9-5.

In a relatively sedate third period, in front of a good-sized but considerably quieter crowd in Sechelt, Regals were able to add a couple more goals and cruise to an 11-5 win.

Several Regals put up some big numbers, including Albertson with four goals and one assist, Tyson Boucher a hat trick and an assist, Andy Welsh one goal and five assists while the setup master of the evening, Rick McLaren, recorded six assists.

Also scoring singles for the Regals were Stu Kumamen, Blake Rice and Rich Kellington.

“Albertson had four goals but could have had six,” said coach Tod English. “He’s a big kid and he’s got nice hands, and it’s just him playing with the right players.”

He played on a line with veterans Welsh and McLaren who combined for 17 points in the game.

“It was a bit of a shootout,” Welsh said, putting it mildly. “You could tell right from the start the way the play was. It felt like one of those games that was going to be high scoring and we just continued to bury the puck.”

Regals had two forward lines and four defencemen to compliment the goaltending of Rene Holmgren but the Hitmen’s bench wasn’t any deeper despite the home ice advantage.

Rest assured the Regals will not make the same mistake in the first game of the series against the Hitmen which will start at 7:30 pm on Saturday, February 19 at Hap Parker Arena.

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