Home Sweet Home
After unveiling their 2015-16 North Division Championship banner in a pregame celebration, the Markham Royals continued the party with a 4-1 win over the Pickering Panthers on Friday night.
The win was Markham’s second of the season, their first on home ice, against a very young Panthers squad that held their own against the more veteran Royals lineup.
“We knew they were going to work hard,” said Royals head coach Mike Galati after the game, “They are a real young and eager group that’s got some skill and speed. There were times where they outworked us, it took some time for us got get it going with the ceremony, we thought we would be okay if we didn’t get outworked the whole game and we were good enough to win”.
The Panthers iced a line-up the featured nine 17-year-olds, all of which did not have previous OJHL experience, making the Panthers a very young and inexperienced group of players. A group though that provided the Royals with a challenge throughout the game.
After the pregame ceremony, it took some time for the game to get into a flow, but after a couple of big hits and some power play opportunities both teams settled right in. When Galati was asked about getting his group through the wait, he said that ‘(the coaches) need to be in their ear, they are old enough and have been here before, so they just needed to stay focused and they managed to do that.
After a scoreless first period of play, the Royals finally found a way past Panthers starting goaltender Graham Schropp thanks to Doug Carter scoring against his former team. He followed that up by assisting on Corey Iapalucci’s second goal of the season to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Before the second period came to a close, another former Panthers found the back of the net against his old club, this time it was off the stick of defender Kyler Challis, who was playing in his first game as a member of the Markham Royals. Hudson Michaelis would add the 4th goal in the third period, before a power play goal from Davis Teigen-Katsumi broke the shutout bid for Royals starter Marcus Semaio.
The Royals were able to fire a total of 46 shots at Schropp, while only allowing 28 against on Semaio. Markham was able to protect the net as a collective unit giving Semaio a chance to get to every shot that came towards the net, and even had to show off his flexibility at times, going post-to-post on a couple of occasions to stump the Panthers.
“We came out with a 4-1 win,” said Galati, “I thought we were at little sloppy at times but we were real good the rest of the time. 2 points is 2 points and we’ll take it”.
The focus now shifts to a road date with another North Division opponent as the Royals will travel to Lindsay on Sunday to face the Muskies for the first time this season.
“Lindsay is going to be the same type of team (as Pickering)”, said the coach, “they are going to work hard and they’re really good in their own rink so we are going to have to be that much better”.
The game is scheduled to begin at 1:30pm at the Lindsay Recreation Centre. The Royals will then be back at Markham Centennial Arena on September 23 when they host the Aurora Tigers in their first matchup of the season.
About The Markham Royals: The Royals are a member of OJHL Ontario Junior Hockey league and compete in the North Division. Their home games are played in the City of Markham at the Markham Centennial Arena.
For more information on players, schedules, ticket sales and coming events checkout their website Click here - www.markhamroyals.com