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Sports & Recreation

Royals Open Junior B Regular Season Sept. 24

After a deep run in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League playoffs last year, the Richmond Royals are back on the ice and looking for another big year.

The Royals opened their pre-season on Labour Day weekend and have four games under their belt. The Royals have lost twice to the Ottawa West Golden Knights by scores of 7-2 and 9-2, and they have wins over Carleton Place and Athens.

While the scores and outcomes of pre-season games are more or less meaningless as they are used for coaches to evaluate young and new players, some of the Royals’ veteran players have served notice that they are ready to go.

Dylan Rorwick, their biggest offensive weapon last season, has scored five goals in three games in the pre-season. The 19-year-old forward posted 38 goals and had 36 assists in 39 games as a rookie last season.

Tyler Cutts, their other big offensive weapon who scored 31 goals in 36 games last season, is also back. Cutts has five points in three pre-season games.

Another player off to a hot start is 19-year-old rookie Sam Mayson. The 5’9”, 175-pound Gatineau native has never been a big point producer at the AA or AAA levels, or at U18. However, Mayson has four games in four pre-season games to show the offensive upside he brings to the Royals.

Among the other returning forwards are Tyler Hames, Ryan Sullivan, Cameron Donaldson, Jackson Dallaire, Reid Johnston, Giulio Carulli and Sam McElheran.

The blue line also has a number of returning players with Evan Burgess, Leo Kluchert, Drew Russett, Simon Yang, Sheldon Lyons and Gage Bujold among the returning defencemen.

The big hold to fill will be in goal. Mavric Welk, who posted an 11-3-0 record after coming to the Royals from the Pembroke Lumber Kings, was signed by the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL. With the pre-season almost completed, indications are that Welk will catch on as a back-up goalie. If he is not kept, he will almost certainly be playing Junior A somewhere.

Cooper Lennon, who played 20 games with the Embrun Panthers last season, is now with the Royals. The Carp native posted a 13-2-2 as an EOJHL rookie last season.

One newcomer who has also looked good is 16-year-old Luke Suys, who played for the Navan Grads U18 AAA team last year.

The Royals will open their regular season Sun., Sept, 24 with a home game against Embrun at 1:20 p.m. Their second game is also at home, as they host Smiths Falls Sept. 27 at 8:20 p.m. Both September home games will be at the Goulbourn Rec Centre before the team moves back to Richmond in October.