The Richmond Royals saw their six-game Eastern Ontario junior Hockey League winning snapped Sunday afternoon, but the one point they earned was enough to put them in sole possession of first place in the junior B circuit’s Martin Division.
The Royals lost a 5-4 nailbiter to the Casselman Vikings at the Richmond Memorial Community Centre Sunday afternoon. The point earned for the overtime loss puts the Royals’ record at 17-5-2 for 36 points, one point ahead of the second place Embrun Panthers. The Royals have two games in hand on the Panthers.
The Vikings came into the game just five points out of first place, as they sat in fourth in the logjam at the top of the standings. They didn’t take long to let the Royals they came to play, as Nico Pozzebon scored just 46 seconds into the game to draw a raucous cheer from the healthy contingent of fans who travelled from Casselman.
The Royals took the lead before the end of the first with a pair of goals late in the period. Dylan Rorwick netted his 18th of the year from Tyler Hames and Jaidon Genereux, and then Tyler Cutts potted his 18th from Giulio Carulli and Reid Johnston.
Alexis Lafrance scored three minutes into the second for Casselman to tied things up. Shelden Lyons scored to give Richmond a 3-2 lead when he scored his first of two power play goals in the period from Johnston and Cutts. After Nicholas Ouellette tied the score by beating goalie Gabe Arrigo for an unassisted goal, Lyons restored Richmond’s one-goal lead with an unassisted power play goal.
In the third period, Tyler Stewart’s goal pulled Casselman even at 4-4. The Royals had a pair of power play opportunities in the third period, but Vikings goalie Maël Gendron kept the Royals off the scoreboard.
The game went into overtime, and the teams exchanged scoring opportunities with both Arrigo and Gendron making big saves during the wide open three-on-three extra period.
The Vikings won the game at 2:16 of the overtime period. Vincent Bastien fed Tyler Stewart with a pass that sent him down the left wing. He blasted a shot from the circle that went top corner, above Arrigo’s glove hand, to give the Vikings the win.
The loss ended the Royals’ six-game win streak, however they have earned at least a point in seven straight games.
The Royals have a two-week break, as they return to action in Casselman Jan. 5 in their first of three games over a four-day stretch.
Royals fans will be doing some watching of the out of town scoreboard, however. Embrun hosts Casselman Tues., Dec. 20 for their final game before the break.