A third-period comeback was not in the cards for Powell River Regals in game two of a best-of-three Coy Cup qualification series at Hap Parker Arena on Saturday, February 22.
Regals trailed 5-1 before AJ Dzhevelekyan cut the lead to two with a pair of goals, one late in the second period and another early in the third.
“Another slow start cost us; we spotted them four goals again and won the rest of the game 4-3,” said Regals’ coach Tod English, referring to game one where Sparta also took a 4-0 lead. “It was another learning experience in our journey to gain momentum for future games and players.”
Five minutes after Dzhevelekyan’s second blast brought the crowd to its feet, Travis Granbois made it a one-goal game after finishing an end-to-end rush where he deked through three opponents and buried a shot over Kelowna’s goaltender into the top corner.
Regals had momentum with seven minutes remaining on the clock, but the visitors scored next, adding insurance on a power play to make it 6-4, then sealed the victory with an empty-net goal to clinch the game 7-4 and series 2-0.
“As much as we are disappointed in not making it through the series, we are very pleased with the effort our players put in this year and the excitement for next year they showed after the loss,” added English. “We will continue to plan a more robust schedule and build toward being at the Coy Cup for 2021.”
Cole Stocker scored Powell River’s first goal of the night, assisted by Regals’ veteran Joe Calderone. Stocker, Tanner Weirsma, Braeden Behan and Kyle Bodie also had assists in the game for the home team.
Sparta skated to a 9-5 win in game one on Friday, February 21.
Kelowna now advances to the four-team 2020 Coy Cup senior AA provincial championship tournament, to be held in Quesnel from March 24 to 28.