Marquette Royales Extend Winning Streak to 13 in Game with Bizarre Finish
By Jim Parks
MARQUETTE, MI – In a word, ‘Wow’! Marquette Royales fans were treated to 3 incredible periods of hockey last night as the Royales put away the visiting Illiana Blackbirds 6 to 1 to extend their winning streak to 13. Bryce Leaf of Negaunee was brilliant in net for the Royales, giving up the Blackbirds only goal, on a power play, deep into the second period with less than a minute on the clock.
The Blackbirds were clearly frustrated with the high powered play of the Royales. The game was chippy from the start. However, the Royales remained focused on the mission at hand, kept their composure, and refused to get lured into continuous taunting by the Blackbirds.
Cheap Shot in the Box
Waiting for the officials to sort it out.
The Royales posted 2 goals in each period. As frustration mounted, Blackbirds’ tempers began boiling over and the second period kept officials busy separating players and doling out penalties.
In the closing seconds of the final period, the game out of reach for the Blackbirds, one Blackbirds player hopped the bench and tore into a Royale from behind. With the clocked stopped with 4 seconds to go in the game, the ensuing melee caused officials to end the game on the spot.
With the game called, the Royales celebrated their win by saluting their fans.
As officials worked to clear the ice and players were heading to their respective locker rooms, several Blackbirds players turned their frustration on some fans.
The bizarre finish to Saturday’s game likely will cost the Blackbirds additional penalties, ejections, and perhaps even league fines. In post-game comments, Royales Head Coach Mike Stanaway said, the Royales took the high road and look forward to the final game of the series on Sunday.
With the win, the Royales gained 2 more points over the Blackbirds. The 1st place Royales now have a 5 point lead over the Blackbirds and Coach Mike Stanaway hopes to add some additional separation on Sunday.