After outburst in second, Regals hold on for first win
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – Sparked by netting five goals in a minute of play in the second period, the Guelph Regals recorded their first victory of the Ontario junior B lacrosse league season as they defeated the London Blue Devils 15-13 Sunday at the Victoria Road arena.
“The key was just getting the shots through,” Regals’ Jayden Bushey said. He scored four of the five goals in the outburst and netted six goals in the game. “It’s all about over the screen and just burying the ball.”
While the Regals never trailed in the game, the second-period outburst gave them a little breathing room and allowed them to weather a third-period comeback attempt by London.
The scoring spree put the hosts ahead 11-5 at the time, but London rallied to cut the gap to two goals by the six-minute mark of the third and a single goal just after the midway point of the third. However, the Blue Devils wouldn’t score after that.
“We were nervous, but we fought through it,” Bushey said. The youngest player on the Regals’ roster, Bushey will turn 17 on Remembrance Day.
Acquired last week after he was released by his hometown Elora Mohawks, Bushey also had two assists to go with the two goals he scored in Friday night’s loss to Elora.
Last year Bushey played minor midget lacrosse with the Centre Wellington Mohawks and he got called up for eight regular-season and 10 playoff games with the junior C Fergus Thistles. The Elora native totaled 25 goals and 21 assists in the 18 games and tried out with the junior B Mohawks this spring.
“Elora Mohawks offered me a C/B card, but I didn’t take it,” he said. “I wanted to play junior B full time and thought I deserved it.”
Shane Halliwell had four for the Regals Sunday while Reed Kurtz added two and Callyn Martin, Luke Kivell and Mitch Hertner also scored. Kurtz had seven assists, Halliwell four and Liam Holwell, Kivell, Carter TenEycke, David Pavlinich and Cohen Campbell one apiece.
Gregory Elijah-Brown and Patrick Hogan each scored four goals for London while Quincy Abrams netted a hat trick. Blake Goris and Sam Johnathan had a goal apiece. Abrams collected six assists while Hogan and Sean Campbell had five each, Elijah-Brown had three, Aiden Jack had two and Eric Lave and Marquez Stonefish had one each.
The Regals led 5-2 at the end of the first period and 11-7 after the second.
“It’s a big win,” Bushey said. “It wasn’t by the score we wanted as we were hoping to beat them by a bigger gap, but a win’s a win and we got the dub.”
Guelph outshot London 64-50 and went 4-for-8 on its power play while London went 6-for-11.
Kent Bremner picked up the win in net for the Regals while Stonefish was tagged with the loss for London. Stonefish played all but 38 seconds of the game when he was relieved by Joseph Boehm with the Regals up 8-5. Stonefish returned after Bushey scored three times in 24 seconds to complete Guelph’s second-period outburst.
After starting the season with two consecutive home games, the Regals (1-1-0) are to start a stretch of five straight road games Friday when they’re to play the Six Nations Rebels (3-0-0) at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville. Game time is 8 p.m.
Last year the Regals lost their first seven games before getting their first of four wins. For the Guelph squad to take a shot at securing a playoff berth this year, Bushey said practise would be the key.
“We have two practices this week and we need to go out hard and just get better and better throughout the season,” he said.