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Stephen J. Osmond Local Sports Columnist

In what was probably the best team game the Mariners have played this season, they fell to the Royals 5-4 in a thriller.

The Bruce II crowd were definitely entertained for this one as the Mariners jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period led by Darren Dean who scored two early goals putting the Royals behind the eight ball.

With just 12 dressed skaters the Mariners put their heart on their sleeve and went to work on trying to even the series with the Royals who were a little surprised at the team’s hot start.

The Royals made it 3-2 and then a highlight reel goal by John Kettle on a slick pass from Dylan Savory gave them a two goal lead.

The Royals made it 4-3 before the end of the second setting the mood for a great third.

Power Plays became the talk of the third as some questionable calls on both sides of the puck became a factor and the Royals capitalized on their opportunities taking a 5-4 lead on a powerplay goal.

The Royals held off the last minute surge of the Mariners to advance to the final versus the Red Wings.

A great team effort from a short Mariners bench provided some great entertainment proving that they can indeed compete in the league and although the results weren’t there that night, the future looks bright for the team going into what they hope is hockey in 2023/24.

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