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Royals Knock Off First Place Panthers In EOJHL Shootout

Richmond Hosts Winchester Hawks In Thanksgiving Day Junior B Showdown at 1:20 p.m.

If the Richmond Royals are thankful for anything on Thanksgiving weekend, it is for the play of goalie Gabe Arrigo.

On Sunday, the Royals were on home ice at the Richmond Memorial Community Centre. They were outplayed by the first place and unbeaten Embrun Panthers. The Panthers outshot the Royals 37-17. But at the end of the day, it was the Royals who prevailed 5-4 in a shootout, improving their Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League record to 3-1 for 6 points.

While Arrigo was a brick wall in front of the Royals net in the third period, he was even better in the shootout. Charlie Belanger of the Panthers deked him out in the first round of the shootout, but then Arrigo made seven straight saves before the Royals finally earned the win in the eighth round of shooters.

Richmond Royals goalie Gabe Arrigo gets some help in front of the net during the third period of their 5-4 shootout win over Embrun.

The Royals took an early lead as Tyler Cutts scored his fourth of the year from Shane Sullivan and Reid Johnston. Liam Murdoch scored for the Panthers to tie the score, but Dylan Rorwick replied for the Royals with an unassisted goal with 34 seconds left in the period to give Richmond a 2-1 lead.

Tyler Hames notched his first of the season 3:01 into the second period from Jackson Miller to give the Royals a 3-1 lead, but then Belanger took the game into his own hands. He helped set up Juno Gregoire’s goal at 4:34, and then scored a pair of goals to give Embrun a 4-3 lead. All three of the Panthers’ second period goals came on the power play.

Richmond goalie Gabe Arrigo deflects Embrun shooter Juno Gregoire’s shot wide during the shootout.

In the third period, Reid Johnston scored his second of the year from Jayden Genereux, but then Arrigo took over. Play was in the Richmond end for most of the period, but strong play by the Royals’ defence and a number of big saves by Arrigo kept the score tied.

In overtime, by Arrigo and Embrun’s Aiden Foley came up with big saves, as Foley stopped a Richmond breakaway in the final minute.

In the shootout, Belanger scored first. Foley stopped Dylan Rorwick and Tyler Cutts, but Reid Johnston kept the game alive with a goal. After that, it was all goaltending. Arrigo stopped the next five Panthers shooters. Declan McCarthy, the Royals’ eighth shooter, finally beat Foley to give Richmond win.

The Royals are at home again Monday for a Thanksgiving Day tilt against the Winchester Hawks. Puck drop at the Richmond Memorial Community Centre is at 1:20 p.m.