Royales Roundup – Royales Continue Their Winning Ways!

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Jim Parks Reporting

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Tough Royales Defense

11/11/2013 – Marquette, Michigan — As of this report, the Marquette Royales now have won 19 straight games and remain undefeated at home. And I really am feeling sorry for any hockey fan that has not yet made it to a Royales game. You are missing something very special. After Saturday night’s game against the Central Wisconsin Saints, I do not feel guilty, one iota, calling myself a true fan.

Fact: The Royales swept the Saints three games on their home ice in September for 6 points. Fact: The ‘Saints’ aren’t, per se. Fact: The bad blood that occurred in Stevens Point has had plenty of time to fester. Fact: The Saints were coming to Marquette to seek revenge.

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Saints start it…

From the Saints Facebook page: “…your Saints are also rolling winning 9 of their last 11 games!! Watch online or make the short trip to cheer on the Saints as they aim to take the series this weekend!”

Without greater detail, does that set the stage?

The Royales got things started Friday night with a Todd Cooper (Gilbert, AZ) goal at 9:11 in the 1st period. Lane King (Waunakee, WI) added the 2nd at 17:15 in the 2nd period. Solid defense and brilliant goal tending held the Saints scoreless until well into the third period when the Saints poked in a goal to make it 2-1. Minutes later Lane King scored his 2nd goal of the evening to make it 3-1 Royales.

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Royales finish it!

Suffice to say the Saints, which they are not, took offense to this and began exacting their revenge in less than saintly ways. As the penalty boxes began filling with angry, frustrated jerseys, the Royales kept their composure (as always) and played on. The game was capped with a beautiful short-handed goal by Dallas McLaughlin (Marquette) at 17:22 to seal the game at 4-1. Do you have a sense for what Saturday night might bring?

Royales fans were in for a very special treat on Saturday night. The Saints brought their determination and revenge-laden chip to Lakeview Arena. The Royales brought their game.

From the drop of the first puck, the Saints came out fast and hard. The checks were hard-hitting and often seemed personal. The first period went back and forth, both teams trading blows and trying to establish the tone of the game. It was 0-0 after 1.

The Saints scored first in the 2nd period and then added a second at 5:21 in the 1st. Then, Royales forward Scott Victor (Elmwood Park, IL) suffered a brutal, game-ending (and possible season-ending) open ice hit to the knee. Victor’s teammates helped him off the ice and the other Royales players gathered at the bench for a pep talk from Coaches Stanaway and Cook. Tempers and frustration boiled over and within minutes of Victor’s injury, several altercations broke out. Both teams started racking up penalty minutes as ‘personal problems’ were being resolved the old fashioned way. Fans and the “Royal Pains” cheer squad were going wild and loving every minute. The 2nd period ended with the Saints leading 2-0.

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Dylan Kleffman, 4-1/2 years old

As I have mentioned before, I would love to know what the discussions are during that long lull between the 2nd and 3rd period when all the fan fun is going on. During this break, I spoke with Ishpeming resident, Tammy McCarthy, who has become a ‘Loyale Royale.’ She says she can’t understand why Lakeview isn’t packed with people during home games.

I also caught Royales fan, 4-1/2 -year-old Dylan Kleffman of Appleton, WI, proudly showing off his Royales gear.

Dylan’s mom, Mariya Kleffman, said they were visiting family in the Marquette area and her father said they needed to see the Royales.

 

3rd period! The horn sounds and the puck drops. What was said in the locker room? At the break, it seemed as though the Royales’ ship had suffered a hit and was taking on water.

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Crowded penalty box

The 3rd period started like the 2nd ended. Aggressive hits, fights, and play penalties set the tone for a scrappy finish. The Saints scored to make it 3-0 at 9:37.

The penalties continued to mount for both teams.

Finally, the Royales got a shot in the arm on a Nick DeSimone (Naperville, IL) power play goal at 10:53. The Royales finally are on the board. It’s now 3-1 with less than 10 minutes left in the game.

Less than 10 minutes to go!

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All tied up!

With the bench depleted because of penalty minutes, Coach Cliff Cook sent in defenseman Mike Holmes (Chicago, IL) to fill the void. Holmes was in for about 20 seconds when he unleashed a perfectly placed rocket from the point. The score is now 3-2 at 12:01. This was not only Holmes’ first goal of the year, it was his first ever as a Junior Hockey player. This goal proved to be THE shot the Royales were looking for.

Royales forward Jeff Salzbrunn (Oswego, IL) tied the game at 3 all at 13:01.

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Dallas McLaughlin being helped off the ice by teammates after a knee hit by the Saints.

The Saints WERE NOT PLEASED! Shortly after, the Saints put another knee hit on league leading scorer Dallas McLaughlin. Medical staff came out on the ice and McLaughlin was helped off by two of his teammates.

You could almost hear the teeth grinding on the Royales bench from the stands. The fights continued as grievances were aired.

The Royales always impress me when pressure mounts. When it could be considered a forgivable offense to come completely unraveled, the Royales always seem to be able to find their composure, settle down and finish their game.15:27 — BOOM! Nick DeSimone. Royales take the lead 4-3. 17:30 — BOOM! Drew Jarvis (St. Louis, MO) on a power play. Make that Royales 5-3.

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Celebrating the win!

That where ‘this’ game would end. The Saints, determined to get revenge, got a grab bag full of humiliation at the hands of the skilled coaching and player talent of the Royales. The fans at Lakeview got their money’s worth. THAT was a game that people will be talking about for weeks to come.

The Royales complete the series with the Saints Sunday at 1. They are back at Lakeview December 6, 7, and 8 to host the Wisconsin Rampage from Pleasant Prairie. Get it on your calendar. JUST GO!

It IS the best show in town and STILL the best bargain around. Folks, this is a U.P. sports story. People from everywhere and all over should really make it a point to get to Lakeview and see the Royales. They do not disappoint!

As determined as the Saints were to come to Marquette and hand the Royales a loss, they ended up going home empty-handed.  The Royales mounted a dramatic come from behind win Sunday afternoon to sweep the series with a 5-3 effort.

The Royales’ extended their winning streak to 20 games, claimed another 6 points, and added further separation in their division.  The Royales are #1 and for a very good reason…THESE GUYS ARE GOOD!

 

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One Response to Royales Roundup – Royales Continue Their Winning Ways!

  1. Great article Jim – and great writing! You are a true Royales fan, and it shows!

    Sara
    November 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm

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