Gill too much for Royals in 5-2 victory
Andre Gill was too much for the Western Royals on Sunday afternoon, as the Grand Falls-Winsor Cataracts’ top goal-scorer netted four goals in leading the hometown squad to a 5-2 victory.
© Photo courtesy of Rod Bennett
Cats’ goalie A.J. Whiffen turned aside 28 of 30 shots in backstopping his team to a 5-2 victory Sunday over the Western Royals. The win gave the Cats a 2-0 series lead in the best-of-seven West Division final of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League.
The win gave the Cats a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-seven West Division final of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, after the Cats came back from a two-goal deficit to take game one Saturday 4-3 in overtime.
Sunday’s contest saw the Royals control play in the early part of the first period, but it didn’t last long after the Cats woke up and took over the momentum by scoring twice and killing off a pair of 5-on-3 power plays for the Royals.
As for the offence, the Cats opened the scoring at the 12:34 of the first frame, as Gill scored a power-play marker from Rob Hennigar and Rodi Short.
Just over a minute later, Gill, who scored 24 goals in 24 games to lead the Cats during the regular season, added his second power-play goal of the period. Cats’ captain Michael Brent and Greg Hoffe assisted on the goal.
The first period also saw both teams a bit feisty, as referees Dean King and Rod Lane dished out 22 minutes in penalties. The Cats were given 12, while the Royals picked up 10.
The second period was much tamer, as there was much less action after the whistle was blown by both teams.
However, the Cats continued to keep the pressure on and Gill was rewarded with his natural hat trick marker on a pretty play from Andrew Brennan and Hoffe with 11:50 remaining in the period.
The Royals were kept at bay for most of the period, catching a break with 4:39 left on the clock.
After a goal-mouth scramble, the Royals celebrated what they though was a goal, but it was waved off by the officials. However, after some discussion with the Royals’ the officials sought the advice of the goal judge. Following this discussion, the Royals’ Parker Deighan was credited with an unassisted marker to cut the lead to 3-1.
As the teams battled back-and-forth in the opening 10 minutes of the final frame, cautious not to make a mistake, it the Cats that were able to increase their advantage to 4-1.
Brandon Street sealed the victory for the Cats’ at 13:37, scoring from Brandon Nicholas and Short.
However, Gill wasn’t done, as the high-scoring forward put his final stamp on the win with his fourth just 46 seconds later. Luke Gallant and Brennan picked up assist on the Cats’ final tally.
The Royals got a late goal from Colin Power with 16 seconds left in the contest, from Matthew Thomey and Chris Peach.
Cats’ netminder A.J. Whiffen turned aside 28 of the 30 shots he faced in the contest, while Bryon Gillis stopped 29 of 34 fired his way fro the Royals.
The two teams hook up for game three Saturday in Deer Lake at 7:30 p.m., followed Sunday at 2 p.m., for game four.