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Sports & Recreation

Royals’ Comeback In Casselman Falls Short

If there is one constant from year to year in local Junior B hockey, it’s that road trips to play in Casselman are not easy.

The Richmond Royals returned to action after a two-week break to face the Casselman Vikings in a battle between two of the top teams in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Martin Division. The Royals fell behind and mounted a comeback, but an empty netter sealed the deal as the Vikings beat the visiting Royals 4-2 Thurs., Jan. 5.

The win moved the Vikings into a tie for second place with the Royals with 36 points in the standings, one point behind the Embrun Panthers. The Royals, however, have two games in hand over Casselman and three in hand over Embrun.

The Royals opened the scoring just before the midway point of the first period. Ryan Sullivan netted his fourth of the year from Reid Johnston and Drew Russett. Nicholas Lenkster levelled the score for Casselman when he scored two minutes later.

In the second period, Nico Pozzebon put the Vikings ahead 2-1 with a goal at the 8:48 mark. Noah Gibbons stretched the lead to 3-1 by scoring at the 9:35 of the third.

The Royals applied pressure to the Vikings, but caught a bad break with just under two minutes remaining as Declan McCarthy received a tripe minor – a double minor for a check to the head and a minor for roughing. Jacob Knickle of the Vikings was also sent off for roughing, putting the Royals down by one player.

Being down a man did not stop the Richmond attempt at a comeback. Dylan Rorwick scored a shorthanded marker from Jackson Allaire and Tyler Hames with 36 seconds remaining.

Any hopes of a tie, however, were quickly snuffed out when Alexis Lafrance scored an empty net power play goal for Casselman with nine seconds left.

Photo:

Jackson Dallaire of the Richmond Royals is surrounded by Casselman Vikings as he chases a loose puck.