With a young lineup and rookie goalies, Powell River Regals travelled to Rossland for a pair of games earlier this month, the first of four games between the two teams in November. The West Kootenay-based Warriors will make the return trip for games at Hap Parker Arena on November 29 and 30.
Regals started well on Friday, November 1, with Rob McNutt stopping all but two of the 17 shots he faced in the first period, but the hometown Warriors led 2-1 after 20 minutes.
“The lack of experience and conditioning really was apparent in the second period,” said Regals’ coach Tod English.
Rossland scored four times in the middle frame to take a 6-1 lead going into third.
“Teenager Ryan Smillie played very well as he took over in goal midway through the second period,” added English.
Smillie made 28 saves but Rossland added another eight goals in the third period. The young Regals were introduced to good puck movement and execution by a very good team, according to English.
Tanner Weirsma, Nick Hui and Kyle English scored for Powell River. The final score was 14-3.
Warriors started quickly the following day, scoring five goals in the first period and four more in the second en route to a 10-0 win.
“We got better every period and by the third the play felt even and we were able to limit their chances,” said English, adding that the club is excited to be playing and focused on its young players and giving them experience.
“We know they can get to this level, but they will have to work hard over the next few months on and off the ice,” said English.
Regals will host Rossland for a pair of games Friday, November 29, and Saturday, November 30. Both games start at 7:15 pm.
“We expect a different outcome and also a different look for these games in Powell River with some of our veterans in the lineup,” said English.
Vancouver Island University Mariners visit the following weekend to play the Regals on Saturday, December 7.
Regals, Rossland, Kelowna and Dawson Creek will compete for two spots in the four-team Coy Cup 2020 provincial championship tournament, which is scheduled for late March in Quesnel.
“There will be a playoff schedule developed shortly to determine the winners after all teams have played the required number of games,” said English. “We will have satisfied our qualification for playdowns after the game against VIU.”