Royals Sweep Arnprior, Will Face Carleton Place In EOJHL Semi-Finals

The Richmond Royals are headed to the Junior B hockey division finals after sweeping the Arnprior Packers.

After a slump that lasted for about two months, the Richmond Royals have found their early season form that saw them sitting in first place in the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Richardson Division for the first half of the season.

After coming back in their opening series to shutout the Renfrew Timberwolves 5-0 in the fifth and deciding game of their series, the Royals beat Arnprior 5-2 Sunday to take the series in four straight games. The Royals now face Carleton Place in a best-of-seven series in the division final.

The series opens Sat., March 16 in Carleton Place before coming back to Richmond for Game 2 for a St. Patrick’s Day tilt at 7:30 p.m. Game 3 is in Carleton Place while Game 4 is in Richmond Wednesday at 8:20 p.m.

The Royals opened the series against Arnprior with a dominant performance, beating the Packers 7-2 in Arnprior March 3. Richmond outshot Arnprior 59-19 in the one-sided affair.

Dylan Rorwick, who had five goals in five games in the series against Renfrew, had a hat trick, while linemate Tyler Hames had a pair of unassisted goals and an assist. Jackson Dallaire had a goal and an assist with Cameron Donaldson scoring the other goal. Tyler Branchaud had a pair of assists with Gage Bujold, Sam McElheran and Zac Soifer earning one each.

Sean Ireland and Shelden Lyons scored for Arnprior.

Ethan Dinsdale stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced in the Richmond net.

Royals win Game 2

The second game of the series was played in Richmond Wednesday night. The goaltenders were centre stage as the Royals picked up a 2-1 win.

Branchaud scored from Hames and Rorwick late in the second period to give the Royals a 1-0 lead, but Jason Ward scored an equalizer for the Packers early in the third. Zac Soifer scored the winner for the Royals at 11:48 of the third from Danny Marsden and Trent Poitras.

Dinsdale made 31 saves and was named the game’s first star. Arnprior goalie Derrick Champagne was the second star as he stopped 41 of the 43 shots he faced.

Comeback win

Saturday night in Arnprior, it looked like the Packers were going to get back in the series. However, the Royals scored three unanswered goals in the third period and then knotted the winner in double overtime to win 5-4 and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

Jacob Ross Signoretti and Jason Ward scored in the first for Arnprior, while Patrick Holmes and Sean Ireland scored in the second. Mayson Sam replied for Richmond in the second with his first of the playoffs from Christian White.

After the fourth Arnprior goal, Sam Nolan replaced Dinsdale in the Richmond net and played flawless hockey.

In the third period, the Royals got to work.

Christian While scored from drew Russett and Jackson Dallaire 35 seconds into the period, and Sam McElheran added an unassisted power play goal less than a minute later.

With Arnprior holding a one goal lead and on the power play with less than three minutes to play, Jackson Dallaire made one of the biggest plays of the season for Richmond. He corralled a loose puck and beat Champagne for the tying goal with 2:31 left in the period.

After a scoreless first overtime period, the Royals picked up the win midway through the second when Tyler Branchaud scored from Christian White.

Nolan stopped all 17 shots he faced for the Royals’ win.

On Sunday night March 10 in Richmond, the Royals got a hat trick from Dylan Rorwick for a 5-2 win. Rorwick, who also added an assist, heads into the next round leading the EOJHL with 11 goals. The next closest players have five.

Tyler Branchaud had a goal and two assists and Sam McElheran also scored. Tyler Hames and Christian White each had two assists. Gage Bujold and Parker Stretch also added assists.

Sam Nolan was in goal for the Royals, stopping 33 of 35 shots.