In opening contest of final series
ALBERTON – The Western Regals took the opening game of the P.E.I Midget AAA Hockey League championship series on Tuesday night.
P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League
The Regals dropped the Mid-Isle Matrix 5-2 before over 500 fans at the Jacques Cartier Arena.
The regular-season-champion Regals scored three goals in a 3:04 span before the 10-minute mark of the first period, and then played Mid-Isle even the rest of the way.
The Regals’ third goal, at 9:37, chased Matrix starting goaltender Alex Smith. Sean MacPhee took over and faced a lot of rubber the rest of the way.
“The boys were ready to go right out of the gates, and then we kind of eased our way into the period after that,” acknowledged Regals coach Brett Corcoran, who was pleased with the effort in the second and third periods.
Jason Gallant led the Regals with two goals and an assist, and the Regals’ first star of the game, TJ Shea, drew three helpers.
Also scoring for the Regals were Brendan Shea, Brett Aylward and Thomas Fraser. Jeff Gaudet, Will Stewart, Chase McCue and Brandon Williams drew assists.
Avery Arsenault picked up the goaltending win.
Spencer Francis and Cody Miller scored late in the first period and early in the second for the Matrix to make the score 3-2. But the Regals responded with two goals in the second period to round out the scoring.
Jacob Stewart assisted on both Matrix goals.
Feisty third period
The third period turned feisty, putting the game’s two-referee system to the test. It was the first time the league has gone with an officiating crew of two referees and two linesmen.
It will continue for the rest of the final series in preparation for the Atlantic AAA midget hockey championship, which the Regals are hosting in Alberton from March 27 to 30. The Matrix will also be playing in the Atlantic tournament as the P.E.I. representative.
“They’ve been playing some good hockey the last couple of weeks leading up to tonight (Tuesday), and we’ve been really building on getting better every day and working our way through the playoffs and then onto the Atlantics,” Corcoran noted.
Overall, Mid-Isle was assessed five minors, three double minors and a 10 minute misconduct. The Regals were whistled for nine minors, two double minors and a 10-minute misconduct.
Game 2 is at the APM Centre in Cornwall on Thursday at 7:40 p.m., and the teams returns to Alberton for Game 3 on Saturday at 8:15 p.m.