Saturday, 31 December 2011

Recap: VIC 6 - POR 7

The WHL leading scorer Ty Rattie had 3 goals and assist to lead the Winterhawks past the Victoria Royals 7-6 in Portland Friday night.  Jamie Crooks also had a 4 point night with a hatrick in the club’s final game of the year, now winless in 6.

The 8th place Royals opened the scoring and held leads of 2-1, 4-2 and 6-5 after 2. Netminder Keith Hamilton helped preserve that lead going into the third by stopping Brad Ross on a penalty shot with 3.5 seconds left in the second.  Zane Jones scored a pair in the middle frame while the Royals outshot the Winterhawks 22-18, but were edged 54-39 on the night. 

Portland got the only two goals of the third.  Victoria could only muster 6 shots in the final frame as the Winterhawks enjoyed 5 man advantages – going 2 for 11 on the night. 

Enio Sacilotto, assistant coach of the Royals following the 7-6 loss:
 
According to Marc Habscheid Head Coach and GM (taken from Times Colonist)
“I thought that we competed very hard,’’ 
“Our work ethic was there and if we keep playing like that, we will be fine.’’
The Winterhawks connected on two of 11 penalty opportunities while Victoria was 1-for-4
“I have been in this league a long time and all I can say is wow when looking at the penalty sheet,’’ said Habscheid. “I have never seen anything like that before.’

Kevin Sundher with a goal and two assists extends his season high point streak to 9 games with 15 points.  Robin Soudek and Ben Walker both chipped in a pair of assists.  The newly formed line of Sundher, Crooks and Walker combined for 9 points.  Brendan Leipsic was named 2nd star for his 2 goals and 2 assist performance for the Winterhawks, while Brad Ross had 3 helpers.

Victoria holds the 8th and final playoff spot with a record of (13-22-2-2) 30 points, picking up 2 points in 6 straight on the road.  They remain 2 points up on the Prince George Cougars who have 2 in hand.

Portland takes the first 2 games of the season series with a 6-3 victory back on Wednesday. The Winterhawks are now 12 games over .500 (23-11-2-1), extended their home win streak to 11 games.  They’ll meet next in Victoria for the final 2 games of the regular season March 14th and 16th.

Up next the Royals will head home to face the Calgary Hitmen Tuesday night.  It’ll be their first home game since December 9th.  The new Video Screens will be ready to go for the fans, enhancing the overall experience at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center.

 Scoring Summary:

1st Period:
Vic – Crooks 18th (Magee) 7:00
Por – Rattie 34th (Ross, Leipsic) 7:53
Vic – Crooks 19th (Sundher, Soudek) 10:37 PP
Por – Rattie 35th (Ross, Carruth) 19:36 PP

2nd Period:
Vic – Jones 9th (Traber) :31
Vic – Sundher 22nd (Walker, Crooks) 2:36
Por – Leipsic 10th (Rattie, Ross) 7:12
Por – Wotherspoon 5th (Peters, Swenson) 7:23
Por – Rattie 36th (Pouliot) 8:34
Vic – Jones 10th (Soudek) 9:39
Vic – Crooks 20th (Walker, Sundher) 18:52

3rd Period:
Por – Leipsic 11th (DeLeo, Leier) 4:41 PP
Por – Pouliot 6th (Leipsic, Wager) 6:14

Shots:
Victoria (11 + 22 + 6) = 39
Portland (21 + 18 + 15) = 54

Power Plays:
Victoria 1 / 4
Portland  2 / 11

Goalies:
Victoria, Hamilton 12-18-1-2 (54 shots-47 saves).
Portland, Carruth 22-10-1-0 (39 shots-33 saves).

Penalty Minutes:
Victoria – 35
Portland – 21

Stars:
1) Rattie
2) Leipsic
3) Crooks

Attendance:
8,836

Friday, 30 December 2011

Preview: Victoria at Portland Dec 30/2011

New Video Screens installed at SOFMC
The Victoria Royals are in Portland for their second game against the Winterhawks in three nights.  They dropped a  6-3 decision Wednesday after getting peppered with 54 shots in Keith Hamilton’s return against his former club.  Portland leads the league in shots and goals for, the Royals did direct 32 pucks at Mac Carruth who earned his 21st win of the season.

Defenseman Joe Morrow led the charge with a goal and two assists, while Brad Ross scored a pair. The Winterhawks now 11 games over .500 (22-11-2-1), extended their home win streak to 10 games and remain 4th in the Conference – 2nd in the US division.

Portland led 2-1 after 20 minutes, but exploded for 2 goals 22 seconds apart in the second and carried a 5-2 lead into the 3rd.  Their number 1 ranked power play struck twice on 3 opportunities.  Keith Hamilton shut the door on 3 breakaways and a Ty Rattie penalty shot.  Victoria held the league’s leading goal getter to a single assist.

Brandon Magee scored two goals and Ben Walker added another for the Royals, who are now winless in 5 and have suffered their eighth loss in nine games.  They fall to the 8th and final playoff spot with a record of (13-21-2-2), picking up 2 points in 5 straight on the road.

WHO'S OUT:  Tonight Portland will be with out Sven Bartschi who’s suffered an apparent mild concussion while representing team Switzerland at the World Juniors.  He’s second in scoring on Portland (54), but is averaging over 2 points per game and is signed by the Calgary Flames.  Royals defenseman Keegan Kanzig and Winterhawks Nicolas Petan are representing Team Pacific at the U-17's.  Tyler Stahl, defenseman for Victoria will miss his 35th game tonight.

THREATS: The WHL’s second overal scorer, Ty Rattie leads the team in scoring with 63 points, number 1 in the league in goals (33), and power play goals (16).  Drafted by St. Louis, he was a recent cut from team Canada - as was third in Winterhawks scoring, Brad Ross.  A Leafs draft selection, Ross is currently riding a 6 game goal scoring streak.  Defenseman Derrick Pouliot with 27 points, will be attending the Top Prospects game.

DRAFTED:  Portland boasts 8 draft picks including goaltender Mac Carruth (Chi ’10), d-man Troy Rutkowski (Col ’10), d-man Joseph Morrow (Sign Pitt), forward Tyler Wotherspoon (Cgy ’11), Ty Rattie (Stl ’11), Sven Bartchi (Cgy ’11), Brad Ross (Tor ’10) and d-man William Wren (SJ ’09).

STREAKS: Kevin Sundher is on a 8 game point scoring streak (3+9=12 points).  Jesse Pauls with 5 points in his last 3, 8 in his last 7 outings.

OLD STOMPING GROUNDS:  Netminder Keith Hamilton is back in Portland, to face the team that traded him in the offseason to Victoria for a 3rd, 4th, and 9th round picks in the 2012 bantam draft.  Last season he won 17 of 28 games for the Winterhawks.

After tonight the Royals return to Victoria for a Tuesday night tilt against the Hitmen from Calgary.  Victoria hasn’t played at home since Dec 9th.  The new Video Screens will be ready to go for the fans, enhancing the overall experience at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center.

Tonight is the final game of the year, in meeting number 2 of 4 against the Winterhawks, as the Royals look to earn a split and wrap up 6 on the road in Portland.

New VIDEO Screens!

I can't wait to get back to the rink to check out the screens! The game just got that much more fun for the fans. The following is taken from the Victoria Royals Press Release issued this morning:
VIDEO SCREENS BEING INSTALLED AT THE SAVE-ON-FOODS MEMORIAL CENTRE
State of the art screens the newest feature at Victoria’s top venue!
 
Victoria, BC The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre is extremely pleased to announce that they are currently installing a Retop Displays Inc. video screen system above the existing scoreboard at the arena.

With the Centre’s primary tenant, the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals, on Christmas break the decision was made to install the screen during this very tight time frame.

“Installing the screens over the Christmas break is an ambitious endeavour,” said Dave Dakers President of RG Sports & Entertainment and the Victoria Royals. “Waiting until the summer months would have given us the luxury of time, but our focus is to get the screens up and operational so Royals’ fans and Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre patrons can enjoy the benefits of this medium as soon as possible.

“We would like to thank the City of Victoria who has been 100% supportive in our pursuit of this project. Also a thank you to our staff that have worked tirelessly and have sacrificed their Christmas vacation in efforts to have the screens operational as soon as possible.”

The video board has eight screens in total. The main video boards are comprised of four LED screens that are 18 feet high by 10 feet wide, and they boast a resolution that is among the top in North American stadiums. In addition to the four main screens there are four secondary corner screens that will enhance and energize the visual experience. The eight total boards will create an octagon of screens that will sit above the current score clock in a halo style, and will be amongst the biggest screens in the Canadian Hockey League (CHL).

The Royals’ game day video production will be handled by SW Audio Visual. The production will include a full broadcast team of 14 people including cameramen, directors, slo-motion replay and graphics operators. The five-camera operation will make the production as high a caliber as any in the CHL.

VIDEO SCREEN FACTS AND FIGURES

-       Four LED full motion screens that are 18 feet wide by 10 feet tall
-       Each LED screen displays are composed of 6mm video elements each comprising a single 3-in-1 SMD LED package, displaying live HD video action, features and special production pieces in HD quality.
-       Four screens
-       Five camera operation
o   Two centre ice cameras from media level
o   Two cameras in the corners (one at each end)
o   One camera in the box in between the player’s benches

Thursday, 29 December 2011

VIC 3 - PORT 6

Defenseman Joe Morrow's goal and two assists helped the Winterhawks double up on the Victoria Royals 6-3 Wednesday night in Portland.

Anthem in Portland Wednesday night

The Winterhawks (22-11-2-1), extended their home win streak to 10 games by peppering their former netminder Keith Hamiton with 54 shots.  Brad Ross had 2 goals and their number 1 ranked power play struck twice on 3 opportunities.  Portland led 2-1 after 20 and 5-2 after 40 minutes.

Brandon Magee scored two goals and Ben Walker added another for the Royals, who are now winless in 5 and have suffered their eighth loss in nine games.  They fall to the 8th and final playoff spot with a record of (13-21-2-2).

Royals Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto's comments following the loss:
 

They’ll meet again here in Portland Friday night with a 6:45 pregame show on the Zone at 91.3.

Head Coach & GM of the Royals, Marc Habscheid's thoughts; (taken from the Times Colonist)

“We had turkey legs for the first 10 minutes, then we got it going. In the second, they brought their game a little more, for sure,” 

“We were hanging around and then the two quick ones put us in a difficult situation, no question. We got outworked, and we’ve talked since Day 1, that that has to be the mantra of our team. One thing you can control is how hard you work and how hard you compete. We don’t have enough guys who work as hard as they should.”

1st PERIOD:  Defenseman Joe Morrow opened the scoring off a rush with a wrist shot glove side on Hamilton 2:02 in.  Brandon Magee’s backhander tied things up a one just as their power play expired.  Steven Hodges would crank one off the post as the Royals took over the ice for stretches.  With just under 2 minutes left however, Brad Ross would extend his goal scoring streak to 6 games, poking in a loose puck from underneath Hamilton’s glove.  Portland peppered Victoria with 20 shots and take a 2-1 lead after 20.

2nd PERIOD: Ty Rattie would miss a penalty shot 1:11 into the second, but Portland would continue to pour it on.  Chase DeLeo and Taylor Peters would open a 3 goal lead scoring 22 seconds apart, but Brandon Magee would reply with his second of the night on the power play just over 2 minutes later.  Victoria did not allow the number one power play in the league a single oppportunity until late in the second, but Taylor Leir would make them pay at the 18:41 mark to take a 5-2 lead to the 3rd.

The Winterhawks who take the most shots in the league on average, fired another 22 on Hamilton in the second.  Brandon Ross was stopped by Hamilton on a breakway 4:55 in the middle frame along with Joey Baker at the 7:22 mark.

3rd PERIOD:  Royals rookie Ben Walker redirected a Jamie Crooks pass out of the air at the 3:37 mark to bring them within two.  Brad Ross who was denied twice on breakaways one timed a backhander past Hamilton on the power play at 5:24 to give Portland a 3 goal cushion - which proved insurmountable.  Shots were 10 each in the final frame.  The Winterhawks take game 1 of the 4 game series, last year the clubs split the meetings.

STATS:  Victoria went 1/6 on the power play, while Portland was 2/3. The Winterhawks outshot the Royals 54-32.  Keith Hamilton stops 48 of 54, while Mac Carruth wins his 21st with 29 saves. 

3 STARS:
1. POR - 7 Joseph Morrow
2. POR - 18 Brad Ross
3. POR - 9 Chase De Leo

MULTIPLE POINTS: Joe Morrow with 3 points, and 2 point nights for DeLeo, Leier, Swenson, and Brad Ross who extends his goal scoring streak to 6 games (8+2=10 points).  Brandon Magee scored his 9th and 10th goals of the season.  Kevin Sundher's two helpers extends his point streak to 8 games (3+9=12 points).  Jesse Pauls picked up an assist and now has 5 points in his last 3 games.

MISSING:  Keegan Kanzig is playing at the U-17 for Team Pacific, and so is Winterhawks forward Nicolas Petan.  Sven Bartschi is representing Switzerland at the World Juniors while average 2 points per game with Portland.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Preview: Victoria at Portland

The Victoria Royals entered the Christmas break with a 13-20-2-2 record and 30 points – good for 4th in the BC Division.  Winless in 4, but earned 2 points on their 4 game road trip.  A 4-2 loss in Medicine Hat December 17th,  a 5-4 overtime loss in Lethbridge the night before, dropped a 6-3 decision in Edmonton and kicked off the trek with a 4-3 shoot out loss at Seattle.

Tonight Victoria begins a two game set in Portland versus the Winterhawks who are 2nd in the US division with 45 points. Last season the two teams split the season series.

THE OPPOSITION: Portland entered the Christmas break with an 8-6 win in Spokane, going .500 (2-2-1-0) on the 4 game road trip.  Now winners of 6 of their last 10.

HOME SWEET HOME: Portland hasn’t played at home in 25 days, and are strong 10 over .500 at home - but even on the road.  They’re riding a 9 game home win streak, their last loss 5-4 versus Kamloops Oct 14th.

#1's:  The Winterhawks lead the league in several categories, they own the best power play which accounts for a third of the clubs goals.  Also number 1 in goals and shots for, on average in the ‘dub.

WHO'S OUT:  Tonight Portland will be Sven Bartschi who’s representing team Switzerland at the World Juniors.  He’s second in scoring on Portland (54), but is averaging over 2 points per game and is signed by the Calgary Flames.  Nino Niederreiter is playing for the New York Islanders as a ’92, with 1 point in 11 games.  Royals defenseman Keegan Kanzig is representing Team Pacific at the U-17's.

THREATS: Ty Rattie who was drafted by St. Louis leads the team in scoring with 62 points, number 1 in the league in goals (33), and power play goals (16).  He was a recent cut from team Canada as was third in Winterhawks scoring, Brad Ross.  Drafted by the Leafs, he’s currently riding a 5 game goal scoring streak.  Defenseman Derrick Pouliot will be attending the Top Prospects game.

Other draft noteables include goaltender Mac Carruth (Chi ’10), d-man Troy Rutkowski (Col ’10), d-man Joseph Morrow (Sign Pitt), forward Tyler Wotherspoon (Cgy ’11), and William Wren (SJ ’09). 

STREAKS:  For Victoria, Kevin Sundher is on a 7 game point scoring streak (3+7=10 points).  Steven Hodges also pushes his point streak to 5 games with a helper (6 points).  Jesse Pauls with 3 goals in his last 2 gives him 7 points in his last 6 outings.

OLD STOMPING GROUNDS:  Netminder Keith Hamilton is back in Portland, to face the team that traded him in the offseason to Victoria for a 3rd, 4th, and 9th round picks in the 2012 bantam draft.  Last season he won 17 of 28 games for the Winterhawks.

The Royals will play tonight and Friday in Portland before returning home for a Tuesday night tilt against the Hitmen from Calgary.  Victoria hasn’t played at home since Dec 9th. 

*5 Victoria Royals prospects are in this year's Macs Midget tournament;
http://smallatlarge.blogspot.com/2011/12/macs-midget-tournament-lineups.html

Saturday, 17 December 2011

VIC 2 - MH 4

Hunter Shinkaruk’s 2 goals paced the Tigers to a 4-2 victory over Victoria in Medicine Hat Saturday night.

After Victoria did not allow the Tigers to get a shot on goal until the 7:39 mark, Curtis Valk opened the scoring on the power play at 9:13.  Jesse Pauls fired in his 3rd of the year for the Royals at 17:49, but with 18 seconds left Scott McKay put the Tigers ahead 2-1 after 20 on an odd man rush.  The Royals best scoring chance was by Logan Nelson who got in alone, but Tyler Bunz did the splits to make the save.

Hunter Shinkaruk scored a pair in the 2nd, the first on a rebound at 8:44 and then his 30th of the year with 35.9 seconds left.  The Royals responded just 30 seconds later as Hayden Rintoul put a point shot past Bunz with 5.2 seconds left on the power play.

It was a scoreless 3rd period as the Royals had 3 power plays, but were unable to muster anymore offense falling 4-2.  The Tigers take the 3 game season series 2 games to 1.

Assistant Coach for Victoria, Enio Sacilotto gave his thoughts on game:

 

Victoria went 1 for 6 with the man advantage, Medicine Hat 1 for 5 as the Tigers outshot the Royals 29-18 on the night.

Jared Rathjen in his 3rd career start made 25 saves, still looking for his first WHL win.  Tyler Bunz wins his 19th of the season on a 16 save effort.

The 4th place Royals wrap up a 4 game road trip picking a pair of points, and are now winless in 4.  After 37 games, their record now stands at 13-20-2-2 (30 points).

With an assist Kevin Sundher extends his point streak to 7 games (3+7=10 points).  Steven Hodges also pushes his point streak to 5 games with a helper (6 points).  Jesse Pauls 3rd goal in 2 nights gives him 7 points in his last 6 outings.

After the Christmas break the Royals will play a pair in Portland on Dec 28th, and 30th before returning home for a tilt against the Calgary Hitmen on January 3rd.

Preview: Victoria at Medicine Hat

The Victoria Royals clawed back from a three nothing deficit to earn a point in a 5-4 overtime loss in Lethbridge last night. 

Victoria is now winless in 3, and reaches the mid-way mark of the season with a record of 13-19-2-2.  They’ll wrap up a 4 game road trip in Medicine Hat tonight, picking up 2 points thus far.

The Royals sit 4th in the BC Division, 7th in the Conference with 30 points, 1 back of Kelowna, and 3 up on Seattle.

THE OPPOSITION:  The Tigers coming off a 5-2 versus Red Deer sit 3rd in the Central, and 4th in the Eastern Conference with 42 points, 7 over .500.  Medicine Hat has only won 5 of their last 10, and have a better road record than they do at home.

ETEM FACTOR:  They’ll be without their leading scorer, Anaheim draft pick (signed) Emerson Etem who’s off to the US World Junior camp which opened today in Camrose.  He’s 2nd in WHL scoring with 61 points and 2nd in goals with 30.  That accounts for over 23% of the teams goal total.

Aside from the Etem’s abscense, another key stat is the Royals have only been short handed twice in each of their last 2 games.  However, they’ve given up 3 goals on those 4 opportunities.  Also, they’ve had huge 3rd period come backs in 3 of their last 4 games.

Tyler Bunz made 33 saves in his return after being cut by Team Canada for the World Juniors.  He holds the 3rd best Save percentage in the league (92.3%).

SERIES:  It’s the final of the 3 game series (1-1).  The Royals won 5-4 in Victoria Oct 7th, after dropping a 4-2 decision the night before.

WHO'S HOT:  Jesse Pauls had 3 points last night and was named the games 3rd star, he now has 6 points in the last 5 games.  Robin Soudek returned to the line up after serving a 4 game suspension and picked up 2 assists.  Steven Hodges 2 helpers extends his point streak to 4 games.  Kevin Sundher’s assist extends his point streak to 6 games, collecting 9 points in that span.  Ben Walker has 6 points in his last 7.

Tonight Victoria looks to get back in the win column before the Christmas break and win the season series versus the Tigers in Medicine Hat.

Pregame show at 6:15 on The Zone at 91.3.  www.thezone.fm

VIC 4 - LETH 5 OT

Soudek:  Credit CanesCast
The Victoria Royals clawed back from a three nothing deficit to earn a point, in a 5-4 overtime loss in Lethbridge Friday night.  Brady Ramsay scored the overtime winner 1:22 into the extra frame.

The Royals trailed 2-0 after 20 on goals by Brody Sutter and Philip Tot.  Jared Rathjen started the second as Keith Hamiton made 10 saves in 20 minutes of work. 

Graham Hood would put Lethbridge up 3-0 in the 2nd before Jesse Pauls scored his first of the season on the power play to get the Royals on board.  Trailing 3-1 after 40, Victoria would go on a tear, scoring 3 straight in the third. 

Ben Walker started it off 55 seconds in, Pauls his second and Jamie Crooks’ 17th to take their first lead of the game.  It was short lived as Daniel Johnston tied the game 14 seconds later.  Victoria dominated the third period outshooting Lethbridge 18-4, and 44-28 through overtime but failed to pick up the extra point.

The following is taken from the Times Colonist:
“We did not play well at the start. We were great at the end when the ice seemed tilted and we outshot them badly [44-28 on the game], but Lethbridge got some timely goals,” said Victoria GM and head coach Marc Habscheid.
“But we can’t always rely on that [rallies]. We have to bring it every night from the start and be ready.”
“We need some saves and whoever is going to stop the puck is going to play,” said Habscheid, adding Rathjen will start tonight in Medicine Hat against the Tigers.
“We need a higher save percentage.”

Rathjen makes 13 saves - still looking for his first WHL win, while Damien Ketlo and his club win their 3rd in a row.

Jesse Pauls had 3 points on the night and was named the games 3rd star while Robin Soudek returned to the line up after serving a 4 game suspension and picked up 2 assists.  Steven Hodges 2 helpers extends his point streak to 4 games.  Kevin Sundher’s assist extends his point streak to 6 games, collecting 9 points in that span. 

The club reaches the mid-way mark of the season with a record of 13-19-2-2, and wrap up a 4 game road trip in Medicine Hat Saturday, picking up 2 points thus far.

The Royals power play went 1 for 6, and stopped 1 of 2 Hurricane chances.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Preview: Victoria at Lethbridge

LAST GAME: The Royals are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Oil Kings in Edmonton Wednesday in game in which they held the lead twice, but couldn’t hold off the fire power contained in the line of Michael St. Croix, Tyler Maxwell and Dylan Wruck who combined for 8 points.

The Oil Kings take both games in the season series, as the Royals dip to 4th in the division and 7th in the Conference, 6 games under .500.

Jamie Crooks - Credit: Photo by Jon Howe

LAST MEETING: Friday night the Royals play in Lethbridge, a team they defeated 8-5 in Victoria a week ago. The Royals fought back from 3 defecits to score 4 unanswered in the 3rd as Jamie Crooks and Kevin Sundher each had 4 point nights, Crooks with his second hat trick of the season. Steven Hodges scored a short handed penalty shot marker to cap off the highest goal output of the season for Victoria.

THE OPPOSITION: The Hurricanes have won 2 straight since the loss, a 4-2 win on the road in Vancouver, and a 6-5 overtime victory over the visiting Calgary Hitmen Wednesday night paced by a Cam Braes hat trick.  Braes who hails from Shawnigan Lake, extends his point streak to 10 games with 17 points. The club also features the son of Duane Sutter, Brody who’s been drafted in the 7th round by Carolina in ’11.  He has 26 points in 31 games.

Lethbridge has won 7 of their last 10 but still remain 11th in the Conference, 12 points out of a playoff spot.  They’ve scored the 4th fewest goals in the league on average, while giving up the second most in the ‘dub.  The Hurricanes power play and penalty kill are both ranked 20th overall.

Sundher - Credit: Photo by Jon Howe
SUNDHER SIGNS: Some big news for Kevin Sundher as he recently signed a 3 year entry level contract with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted Kevin in the 3rd round in 2010.  Sundher is 6th in league scoring with 53 points, and extended his point streak to 5 games with an assist in his last outing (3+5=8pts).  Hodges is also on streak with points in his last 3.  (For Kevin’s thoughts on the signing see the previous post).


GUESS WHO'S BACK:  Jesse Zgraggen returned to line up from injury after missing 4 games.  Robin Soudek will rejoin the squad after sitting out 4 games due to suspension, Taylor Crunk will serve the final of a 2 game suspension.

COMING UP: After Friday the club reaches the mid-way mark of the season playing game 3 of a 4 game road trip, picking up a point thus far.  Saturday they’ll tackle the Medicine hat Tigers, who got a split in the 2 game set in Victoria October 6th and 7th.  It’ll be the last game before the Christmas break and start with a pair in Portland when they return. 

Teddy Bear Toss vs Lethbridge - Credit: Photo by Jon Howe
First up they’re in Lethbridge looking to sweep the 2 game season series against the Hurricanes.  Listen online www.thezone.fm or at The Zone at 91.3.






Buffalo Signs Sundher

Congrats to Kevin Sundher of the Victoria Royals, being signed to a 3 year entry level contract with Buffalo Sabres!!   Story: http://bit.ly/tKcUNl

I talked with Kevin and got his reaction to the signing:
 
Reprinted from the Sabres website:
"Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that the team has signed forward Kevin Sundher to a three-year entry level contract. Sundher was Buffalo’s third-round draft pick (75th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
Sundher
“Kevin’s a very good skater, whose offensive abilities make him a natural fit for our organization,” Regier said. “With his progression over the last few seasons, his fast start this year is a very positive sign for his development.”

Sundher (5’11”, 184 lbs., 1/18/92), in his fifth season in the Western Hockey League, is ranked sixth in the league in scoring with 52 points (21+31) in 32 games as a member of the Victoria Royals. In 247 WHL games with Victoria and the Chilliwack Bruins, Sundher has accumulated 229 points (89+140) and 294 penalty minutes.


The native of Surrey, British Columbia has improved his point totals in each of his five WHL seasons, finishing the 2010-11 campaign with career highs in points (76) and assists (52).
"

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

VIC 3 - EDM 6

Michael St. Croix’s 4 points helped the Oil Kings double up on the Victoria Royals 6-3 Wednesday in Edmonton.

The Royals held leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but the line of St. Croix, Tyler Maxwell and Dylan Wruck combined for 8 points, and Edmonton’s power play went 2 for 2 – extending the Oil Kings win streak to 10 games.

Royals Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto post game thoughts:
 
Off to a strong start with Jamie Crooks opening the scoring from a great feed from Kevin Sundher at 4:22.  The Royals did not allow a shot against until 6:30 in.  Dylan Wruck tied it on the power play, his first of two on the night.  Victoria regained the lead just a minute and twelve seconds later on Austin Carroll’s great shot over the glove of Laurent Brossoit. 

Rookie defenseman Martin Gernat, who is now off to play for Slovakia at the World Juniors, tied it up at 2 on a shot from the point.  Wruck would add another late, with a minute thirty nine left in the period for the Oil Kings first lead of the game.

Edmonton scored their second power play goal of the night on the their second chance, to kick off the second.  Steven Hodges replied, opting to shoot on a 2 on 1 bringing the Royals to within 1.  The turning point came with 15 seconds left in the period as St. Croix redirected a pass through the legs of Keith Hamiton to regain the 2 goal lead heading into the third, now 5-3.

Victoria pressed hard in the third, earning 3 power plays and outshoting Edmonton 15 to 11, but were unable to muster any more offense.  Tyler Maxwell scored the lone goal in the period.  Edmonton 6, Victoria 3 final. 

The Oil Kings take both games in the season series, and now have won their 14th straight on home ice, sitting first in the Eastern Conference with 47 points.  With a Kelowna victory tonight, the Rockets leap frog over the Royals into 3rd in the division.

Brossoit earned his 19th win of the season with 26 stops, while Hamilton made 24.  Victoria goes 0 for 4 on the power play, while Edmonton struck twice on their only two chances.  Oil Kings outshot the Royals 30-29.

St. Croix, the number 1 star, had a goal and three assists for his four point night, while his line combined for eight points. Wruck with two goals, and Maxwell a goal and assist.  The line now has 60 points since Maxwell joined the team 9 games ago.  Wruck and Maxwell extend their point scoring streaks to a league leading 12 games. 

Kevin Sundher’s assist keeps his 5 game point streak alive (3+5=8pts).  Hodges now has points in his last 3.  Brandon Magee picked up an assist playing in his hometown.

Victoria is off to play in Lethbridge friday night and stop in Medicine Hat before the Christmas Break.  You can listen to everygame on The Zone at 91.3.  www.thezone.fm

Monday, 12 December 2011

VIC 3 - SEA 4 SOL

Credit Photo by Kyle Scholzen
The Victoria Royals stormed back to erase a three goal deficit in the third period but ultimately fell 4-3 in a shoot out, earning a point in Kent verus the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday night.

Victoria trailed 1-0, after 20 minutes, and 3-0 after 40, on goals by Sean Aschim, Tyler Alos (goal & assist), and Buffalo draft pick Colin Jacobs in his 2nd game of the season.  The Royals capatalized on a major penalty taken by Justin Hickman and scored 3 straight power plays in a span of 2 minutes and 19 seconds to tie the game in the third.  Goals were scored by Logan Nelson, Kade Pilton and Hayden Rintoul.

After out shooting the T-Birds 38-36 through overtime,  Colin Jacobs scored the lone shoot out goal as the third shooter for Seattle.  Missing for Victoria was Nelson who finished with a goal and assist, Sundher with 2 helpers and Jamie Crooks.
Credit Photo by Kyle Scholzen

Keith Hamilton made a spectacular glove save in the shoot out on the Thunderbirds leading scorer Blake Gallimore, and in the 2nd stoning Hickman on a 2 on 1.  Hamilton made 33 saves, and is now to 2-2 in shoot outs.  Calvin Pickard picks up his 12th win of the season on a 35 save performance.  It was the final meeting of the season, Victoria’s record versus Seattle 1-1-0-2.


Victoria went 3 for 6 with the man advantage while Seattle went 1 for 8.  The Royals wrap up 4 games in 5 nights, and with the extra point move one point past the Rockets for sole possesion of 3rd in the division.  Kelowna has 3 in hand.

Now they’ll swing up to Edmonton Wednesday to avenge an 8-2 home ice loss back on November 8th. Then next Friday in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat Saturday before the breaking for Christmas.

Catch all the action on The Zone @ 91.3 FM

Friday, 9 December 2011

LETH 5 - VIC 8

The Royals fought back from 3 deficits to score 4 unanswered in the 3rd, for an 8-5 win over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes in Victoria Friday night.

The victory snaps a 3 game slide, ends a winless in 5 stretch on home ice and pulls them back into a tie for 3rd in the division with Kelowna.

Jamie Crooks and Kevin Sundher each had 4 point nights, Crooks with his second hat trick of the season.  Sundher had 2 goals and 2 assists giving him 50 points on the year.  Brandon Magee had the game winning goal on a 2 point effort, and Steven Hodges scored a short handed penalty shot marker to cap off the highest goal output of the season for Victoria.

Zane Jones scored the Teddy Bear Toss goal at 18:11 of the first period in front of the their 3rd sellout crowd of the year.  Jones has now scored in four straight, and has 5 goals in his last 6 outings.  Rookie Ben Walker’s assist on the play extends his point streak to 4 games.

Coach & GM of the Royals, Marc Habscheid comments after the win;

 
Keith Hamilton picked up his 12th win with 26 saves, while Liam Liston was lifted after allowing 6 goals on 23 shots, replaced by Damien Ketlo who stopped 2 of 3.

Both teams scored short handed and power play goals, Lethbridge one for seven, and Victoria one for 3.  They’ll meet again next Friday night in Lethbridge.

The Royals trailed 2-0, went ahead 3-2, trailed 4-3 and 5-4 after 40 before 4 straight goals in the final frame.  They were outshot 31-26 on the night. 

Kevin Sundher talks with the media following the win;

 
Victoria plays in Kent versus Seattle Saturday night wrapping up 4 games in 5 nights.  The Royals won their last meeting against the Thunderbirds 7-3 on home ice back on Oct 29th after falling 4-3 in a shoot out the night before.  They lost in Seattle 5-4 back on Oct 8th.

They’ll swing up to Edmonton for a Wednesday night game, play in Lethbridge next Friday and Medicine Hat Saturday before the Christmas break.

BCIT Intern Dustin Forbes has been a huge help to the broadcast during his 3 weeks with the station, and has an in depth recap right here:  www.thezone.fm/whl

Catch all the action on The Zone @ 91.3 FM

Preview: Lethbridge at Victoria

Photo: Times Colonist
LAST GAME:  The 3rd ranked team in the CHL, the Tri City Americans swept the 2 game set Tuesday and Wednesday in Victoria, defeating the Royals 6-2, and 5-3.  Victoria has now dropped 3 straight, winless in 5 at home and slip to 4th in the division.

Conner Rankin scored 2 goals including the winner as the Tri City Americans got past the Royals for a second night in a row, marking the first time Victoria has been held pointless in 9 back to back game sets. 

The Royals struck first and held 2-1, and 3-2 leads until the 3rd when Conner Rankin scored his second of the night, the eventual game winner.

Outshot 30-17 on the night, Jared Rathjen was valiant between the pipes making 25 saves his biggest on Adam Hughesman - who had a goal and an assist, giving him 286 career points moving him past one of the team owners, Stu Barnes.   Royals Logan Nelson and Zane Jones collected a goal and assist each.  Jones has goals in 3 straight games and 4 in his last 5.

TONIGHT:  In come the Lethbridge Hurricanes ranked 5th in the Central, 11th in the Conference have turned things around as of late.  They saw their four game winning streak come to an end with a 5-2 loss to the Rockets in Kelowna Wednesday night.

SIN BIN:  The Canes have the 3rd most penalty minutes in the league, and their penalty killing has taken a hit – 20th in the league.  The power play went without on four chances versus Kelowna and ranks a dismal 21st in the league.

RED LIGHT:  Victoria and Lethbridge have given up the most goals in the league on average, but the Hurricanes haven’t been able to score, with the 3rd fewest goals for in the ‘dub.  The Royals are middle of the pack.

Lethbridge has won 7 of their last 10, including wins versus Saskatoon, Medicine Hat and Spokane.  They’re still 11 under .500 on the season and 7 under on the road.  The Bruins won both games in the season series last year.

HOME COMING:  Captain of the Hurricanes Cam Braes from Shawnigan Lake returns home as as the leading point getter for his club, amassing 29 points in 32 games this season as an overager.

WHO'S HOT:  Zanes Jones has goals in 3 straight games, 4 in 5.  Kevin Sundher is 6th in League scoring (46) and has points in back to back games.  Coming off a 2 point effort Logan Nelson is 2nd among rookies with 32 points.  'Canes Nick Buonassisi had a goal and an assist last game. He has 12 points over his last 11 games.  Cam Braes has 11 points in his current 7 game point streak.

WHO'S OUT:  Victoria will be without the services of 32 point man, Robin Soudek who was handed a 4 game suspension by the league for a hit thrown Tuesday versus Tri City, and already sat one game. 

The injury bug has crept back too, with upper body injuries to defenseman Zach Habscheid and Jesse Zgraggen, both listed as ‘Day to Day’.  Turner Popoff and his hip check is back from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs to help out on the back end.

It’s Teddy Bear Toss night as the Royals look to snap a 3 game slide in the final home game before the Christmas break, versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes in Victoria.  A sell out is expected,

and all they need is 5,553 in attendance to break the 100,000 mark so far this season.

Catch all the action on The Zone at 91.3 with a 6:45 pregame show with myself Marlon Martens, and CHEK TV's Mike Walker.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

TRI 5 - VIC 3

ROYALS SWEPT BY TRI-CITY by Dustin Forbes, BCIT INTERN.

The second of a two-game set between the hometown Victoria Royals and the visiting Tri-City Americans went in favour of the road team once again. It was a much better effort for the Royals as they lead the game three times. But once again, the team couldn’t pull off the victory as the Americans scored twice in the third period en route to a 5-3 victory to sweep the series.

Back-up goaltender Jared Rathjen got the start in favour of Keith Hamilton for Victoria. However, Connor Rankin would score twice in the game and Mason Wilgosh chipped in three assists in the win for Tri-City.

Jared Rathjen, post game comments:

Post Game - Jared Rathjen

Victoria would get on the board first in the game. Just over five minutes in, Logan Nelson scored a power play goal with great patience walking his way in front of the net and waiting for Americans goaltender Eric Comrie to go down before sliding the puck into the open net on the Royals first shot of the game. The goal was Nelson’s 13th of the season – assists went to Zane Jones and Kade Pilton.

The lead was short-lived by Victoria as 4:10 later, Adam Hughesman beat Rathjen to tie the game at one, but the Royals would respond. Kevin Sundher scored his team-leading 19th goal of the year to put the Royals back on top. Late in the first period, Royals rookie Luke Harrison received a charging penalty on a questionable call and the Americans capitalized as Connor Rankin scored his first of two on the evening to see a 2-2 game after twenty minutes of play.

Here's Kevin Sundher's thoughts post game:

 

In the second period, Jared Rathjen came up big for the Royals keeping them in the game. Rathjen made 12 saves in the period, including two tremendous glove saves to save a goal. The teams would exchange goals in the middle stanza. Zane Jones scored his 7th of the season and now has four goals in his last five games. Ben Walker picked up an assist on the Jones goal; Walker now has a three-game point streak with one goal and two assists. With just fifty seconds remaining in the second period, Zachary Yuen scored shortly after a questionable boarding penalty to Brandon Magee expired, and it was tied at three after two periods of play.

The Royals would press early in the third period. Jamie Crooks hit a crossbar early on but was unable to capitalize, and that’s exactly what the Americans did. Connor Rankin scored his second of the game on a back in from below the goal-line to give the Americans their first lead of the night. Then just 1:26 later, Tri-City would capitalize again. Marcus Messier scored his third of the year to give the road team a two-goal cushion and the Royals would not be able to answer as the Americans would skate to a 5-3 victory at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre.

After the game, Head Coach and General Manager of the Royals Marc Habscheid said, “yeah, I thought that the last goal at the end of the second period was a tough one to give up because that’s not only a tying goal, that’s a bit of a momentum changer. So it was a tough to give that one up, especially off what we thought was a clean hit.

Here's Habscheid's post game thoughts from the media scrum:


The Royals went 1/2 on the power play, while the Americans went 1/5. Tri-City outshot Victoria 30-18 in the hockey game and 7-4 in third period.

The Royals winless streak continues at home. They haven’t won at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre since a 4-3 victory over the Red Deer Rebels on November 13th. The Royals are now 1-8-1 in their last ten games.

The Royals will have a day off on Thursday, before looking to get off the snide on Friday night when they host the Lethbridge Hurricanes in their last home game before the Christmas break. The game will also be the Teddy Bear Toss night at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre.

You can catch all the action on The Zone @ 91.3.

Preview: TRI at VIC

Rathjen stops Hughesman.  Credit: Photo by Jon Howe
The Tri City Americans beat the Royals 6-2 in Victoria Tuesday night paced by Justin Feser’s 2 goals and 2 assists.  The Royals only 1 point up on Kelowna in the division look to end a 2 game slide versus the Americans tonight on home ice.

#1's: Tri Cities scored first, and are now a perfect 15-0 when doing so.  They’ve been ranked 3rd in the CHL for a second week in a row, and sit on top of the league standings with the best winning percentage.  The Americans now boast the #1 Penalty Kill, but the Royals went 1 for 7, allowing 2 on 6 against.

Credit: Bruce Stotesbury Times Colonist

SHOTS: Victoria has out shot the opposition in 4 of the last 6 periods but still have the fewest shot per game on average in the league.

HOME & ROAD: The Royals drop to .500 on Home Ice, and are winless in 4 at the SOFMC.  The Americans are 5 games over .500 on the road, now riding a 3 game win streak.

WHO'S HOT: Adam Hughesman (TRI), and Kevin Sundher (VIC) are 5th and 6th in WHL scoring with 50 and 45 points respectively.  Brendan Shinniman (TRI) has 7 points in his last 3 outings and sits 12 in scoring with 40 points.  Logan Nelson is second in rookie scoring with 30 points but pointless in his last 3.  Zane Jones has goals in back to back games, 3 in his last 4.



Adam Hughesman.  Credit: Photo by Jon Howe
SERIES: The season series sits tied at a game a piece, Victoria won in Tri Cities 5-4 on Oct 25th and will meet there one final time on February 4th.

2 GAME MINI SETS: Victoria has not been shut out in 2 game sets this season.  8 times they’ve faced the same opponent on back to back nights, sweeping Kelowna and Prince George, picking up splits against Seattle, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and twice Vancouver, plus taking a single point in an overtime loss to Kamloops.

Up Next:  It's Teddy Bear Toss night on Friday when the Lethbridge Hurricanes come for their first meeting of the season.  The Hurricanes have won 4 in a row, play Kelowna tonight.  Then the Royals head off to play in Seattle Saturday, wrapping up 4 games in 5 nights for a second week in a row.  The road trip continues to Edmonton, a rematch in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat a week Saturday before the Christmas Break.

Catch all the action at The Zone @ 91.3 FM / www.thezone.fm


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

TRI 6 - VIC 2


ROYALS DROPPED ON HOME ICE BY TRI-CITY
by Dustin Forbes BCIT INTERN
The Victoria Royals opened up a two game set on Tuesday night at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre against the Tri-City Americans, but the result was a familiar one; the Royals were defeated 6-2 by the Americans in front of 4,600 spectators at the barn on Blanshard. Brendan Shinnimin and Justin Feser lead the Americans, each scoring twice in the game.
Despite the 6-2 loss on the scoreboard, the play wasn’t as indicative, as the Royals outshot the Americans 32-27 and 13-6 in the third period. The Americans capitalized on their scoring opportunities, while the Royals did not. In the game, the Royals had three two-on-ones and two breakaways – combined resulted in one shot on goal and one goal post.
Marc Habscheid Coach / GM of Victoria thoughts post game:
 
It was a carbon-copy start for the Royals; they found themselves down a pair just 9:27 into the hockey game as Mason Wilgosh and Justin Feser scored for the Americans early in the game. Zane Jones cut the Tri-City lead to one, when he chipped in his sixth goal of the season with 1:23 remaining in the first period – Austin Carroll and Ben Walker picked up assists on the goal; Walker's first WHL assist.
Just over four minutes into the second period, Brendan Shinnimin scored his 12th of the year to chase Royals netminder, Keith Hamilton – Jared Rathjen came in to relieve Hamilton. Tri-City would add two more in the period. Tyson Dallman scored his first of the season before Justin Feser added his second of the game to make it a 5-1 Americans lead after forty minutes of play. 
Early in the third, Robin Soudek notched his 17th goal of the year on the powerplay. Brandon Magee and Kevin Sundher drew assists on the goal that made it 5-2. That would be all the Royals would get on the scoreboard. Brendan Shinnimin added insult to injury when he scored his second of the evening to seal a 6-2 victory for the visiting Americans.
Following the game, Head Coach and General Manager of the Royals, Marc Habscheid said, “The last five or six games we could’ve easily have won all those games. We haven’t one time it’s this, next time it’s that. But our shots have been down and our chances against have been down and that’s good.”
With the loss, the Royals drop to .500 on home ice, and are winless in 4 at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre. The Royals have a chance at redemption Wednesday night as the two teams do things over in the second of the back-to-back at the Save-On Foods Memorial Centre. Puck drops at 7:05 Pacific Time.

Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto's post game comments:

 
You can catch all the action on The Zone @ 91.3

Preview: vs Tri City

The Victoria Royals picked up a split in the Okanagan on the weekend, snapping a 6 game winless skid in Kelowna Friday night 2-1, then falling to the Blazers in Kamloops 4-2 on Saturday.

The Royals remain in 3rd spot in the BC Division one point up of the Rockets and now return home for a pair against the Tri City Americans tonight and tomorrow.

It's another 4 game in 5 night stretch after only a 2 day break versus Tri-City, who are ranked 3rd in Canada. The Americans own the best win percentage in the league, sitting first in the conference. 

The Royals were victorious in Tri Cities 5-4 on Oct 25th in their only meeting of the season.  It was 2 point nights for Jamie Crooks, Robin Soudek, Steven Hodges and Kevin Sundher as they chased Eric Comrie from the net.  Keith Hamilton made 41 saves for the win. 

Tri is coming off wins against Everett and Seattle, winning 8 of their last 10.  They boast the 2nd best Penalty Killing and have given up the 2nd fewest goals in the league.  On the road, the Americans are only 4 over .500, while the Royals are one over .500 at home but winless there in 3.

Former Bruin Mitch Topping will face his former club tonight, while N. Saanich product Sam Grist returns to play infront of friends and family.  Marcus and Jordan Messier’s father is Mitch who played for Minnesota in the 80’s and is a second cousin of Mark.

The Americans big threats include Adam Hughesman who’s fourth in league scoring with 50 points, Brendan Shinnimin who spent part of the season playing for Phoenix’s AHL affiliate the Portland Pirates and Patrick Holland, the Flames draft pick.  On the back end Zachery Yuen is a recent Jets draft selection while Grist attended Flyers training camp.  Between the pipes, Ty Rimmer has the second best goals against average and save percentage in the league – while rookie Eric Comrie has 9 wins in 14 games.

This evening the Royals face an Americans club looking for revenge while boasting the #1 win percentage in the league in Victoria tonight.  Pregame show start at 6:45 on The Zone @ 91.3 FM.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

VIC 2 - KAM 4

Hamilton stops Ranford, by Andrew Snucins, the Daily News
The Victoria Royals picked up a split in the Okanagan on the weekend, snapping a 6 game winless streak in Kelowna Friday night 2-1, then falling to the Blazers in Kamloops 4-2 on Saturday.

The Royals remain in 3rd spot in the BC Division one point up of the Rockets and return home for a pair against the Tri City Americans on Tuesday on Wednesday. 

Saturday night, the Blazers jumped ahead 2-0 on goals 13 seconds apart.  The first a power play goal by Dylan Willick, that drew offside arguments.  Lipon scoring his 10th moments later.  Robin Soudek was stopped by Cheveldave on a penalty shot with 4:51 left, after defenseman Tyler Bell  covered the puck in the crease.

The Royals responded with a pair in the second as Zane Jones tapped in his 5th after a hard forecheck from his linemates Austin Carroll and Mike Forsyth who drew assists.  Minnesota High School product Ben Walker playing in his 5th game with club ripped home a shot from just inside the blueline for his 1st point in the WHL to tie the game a 2.

In the third Kamloops added a pair from Ryan Hanes and Matt Needham by the 11:49 mark.  The Royals pushed late but fell short.  They outshot the Blazers 31-29 on the night and had their highest first period shot output in 8 games, with 11.

Keith Hamilton stopped 25 shots in the loss, in his 15 straight start.  Cole Cheveldave, after taking Friday night off, was back between the pipes for his 5th straight win - now 4-0 against Victoria.  Jamie Crooks had his 4 game point streak snapped.

Kamloops scored once on three power play chances, while Victoria was unable to capatalize on their three man advantages.

The Blazers pick up their 6th straight win, which hasn’t been done since ‘06-07.  All wins versus clubs with under .500 records (Seattle, Prince George and Victoria four times). The Blazers are 12-2 against B.C. Division opponents, with both losses by the hands of the Prince George Cougars.  They’ve only played Vancouver once and won, and sit one point up on the Giants for top spot in the BC Division with 3 in hand.

Victoria is now winless in 5 in the 8 game season series, picking up a single point in the 6-5 overtime loss on Wednesday.  They’ll meet next on the Island January 27th and 28th for a double header.  Both clubs were playing 4 games in 5 nights, after meeting each other for a 4th time in 9 nights.  The trip also wraps up a 6 game stretch for Victoria versus BC Division opponents, with a record of (1-4-1).

Last back to back road wins happenend October 25th, with a 5-4 victory in Tri Cities, after defeating the Rockets 3-2 in Kelowna.

Victoria’s next opponent, the Americans are ranked 3rd in Canada, with the Royals defeating them in Tri Cities 5-4 on Oct 25th in their only meeting of the season.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

VIC 2 - KEL 1

Sundher stopped by Cooke.  Photo by Marissa Baecker
Robin Soudek scored twice to lead the Victoria Royals to a 2-1 victory over the Rockets in Kelowna Friday night, kicking off December with a win.

The Royals end a 6 game winless streak, take sole possession of 3rd in the BC Division, and have 3 points in their last 2 outings.   They snap a 4 game road slide, and scored the first goal of the game after allowing it in 9 straight.

Robin Soudek scored his 15th of the season with a drive from the point to opening the scoring in the 2nd. 

Defenseman Keegan Kanzig would draw his first WHL point, assisting on the play.  Colton Scissons would even the score on the power play, converting a pass from Minnesota draft pick Brett Bulmer.

Jesse Zgraggen, was able to return to the ice in the third after taking a check to the head from Jessey Astles who received 5 and a game misconduct.  Bulmer would take a high sticking penalty and on the ensuing 5 on 3, Soudek would score his second of the night, the eventual game winner.
Photo by Marissa Baecker

It was another 4 fight affair, as the Royals played without captain Hayden Rintoul for a stretch as he picked up 17 minutes in penalties, by sticking up for Jamie Crooks.

Kevin Sundher had 3 breakaways, unable to beat the sprawled out pad of Jordon Cooke in the first while short handed, hit the post on his second attempt and stopped again in the third.  Kevin assisted on the 2nd goa, but the helpers were credited to Jesse Pauls and Jamie Crooks.  Sundher was riding a 5 game point streak.  Brandon Magee was also not credited on the play, robbing him of his 50th career point.

Tonight it’s the 4th meeting in 9 nights against the Blazers in Kamloops.  The Royals fell 6-5 it overtime Wednesday and 4-3 Tuesday at home, while last Friday dropping a 4-1 decision in Kamloops.  It’s the 5th meeting of the season, with Victoria picking up a single point thus far.

Riding a season high 5 game win streak, Kamloops is tops in the BC Division, one ahead of the Giants.  They have points in 8 of the their last 10, coming off a 5-4 win versus the Prince George Cougars last night.

After tonight, Victoria returns home for a pair against the Tri City Americans, ranked 3rd in the CHL.  The Ams were the Royals last road victim defeating Tri 5-4 back on October 25th.

The Royals in December play 9 games in 17 nights before the Christmas break.  3 at home and 6 on the road.  They’re playing their last of 6 in a row vs the BC Divison, collecting 3 points thus far.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Preview: at Kelowna

The Royals are coming off a pair of losses to the Kamloops Blazers 4-3 on Tuesday and 6-5 in Overtime Wednesday night in Victoria.
Royals pregame practice at Prospera in Kelowna Friday
Winless in 6, they pick up a much needed point in the BC division, as Kelowna has jumped ahead of them by one point in the standings with 2 in hand, and face the 3rd place Rockets tonight.
 

The Rockets look to build on a 2 game win streak, coming off an impressive 6-2 win over the top team in the conference, the Tri City Americans.  They held the Ams to 2 power play chances, scoring twice on theirs, and chased Ty Rimmer from the nets while outshooting them 33-22.  Minnesota Draft pick Brett Bulmer led the way with 2 goals.  

The Rockets are 6-3-1-1 with Bulmer in the fold.  He’s received an invite to the WJ training camp, while Filip Vasko will attend the Slovak's camp.
 

Kelowna now has won 5 of their last 6, 3 however versus the 5th place Cougars and once versus Victoria last Saturday 6-5.  The Rockets offense has been heating up as of late, scoring 6 or more goals in 3 of the their last 4, the only blemish being shut out by the Kootenay Ice.  They’ve been strong in their current 7 game home stand with 3 wins, tonight playing game number 5.
Victoria pregame skate in Kelowna today

SEASON SERIES:  In their last meeting, the Royals came from behind twice to tie and almost three times, but time expired on Crooks’ attempt, falling 6-5.  Robin Soudek and Kevin Sundher had a goal and assist each, while Hayden Rintoul and Jamie Crooks picked up a pair of helpers each.  

It was Brett Bulmer’s first contest of the season against the Royals and he made it count, scoring a hat trick, while linemate Shane McColgan chipped in with 3 assists.  Victoria leads the series 3 games to 1 and have out scored Kelowna 19-16 in four games.  There were 4 fights in the game, with Rockets Tyrell Goulbourne involved in two.  

The Royals won back-to-back games at home against the Rockets on October 14 and 15, and then handed the Rockets a 3-2 loss in Kelowna on October 22.  Sundher has 10 points versus the Rockets this season, in only four games.

JUST A GOAL:  With 8 wins in 13 one goal games, the Royals have been edged in their last 3 by just a single score.  One glaring statistic is how the oppostion has scored the first goal in 9 straight, Victoria drawing points in 2 of those, a shoot out win and an overtime loss.

MOVEMBER:  The Royals close out the month of November picking up 5 points in 11 games, and now will play 9 games in 17 nights before the Christmas break in December.  3 at home and 6 on the road.  They’re playing their 5th of 6 in a row vs the BC Divison, collecting a single point thus far.


COMING UP:  After a 4th meeting in 9 nights in Kamloops tomorrow, Victoria returns home for a pair against the Tri City Americans, ranked 3rd in the CHL.  The Ams were the Royals last road victim defeating Tri 5-4 back on October 25th.  Victoria looks to snap a 4 game road slide tonight in Kelowna.
 
WHO'S HOT:  Kevin Sundher has returned to form with 8 points in his 5 game point streak, now 6th in league scoring.  Rookie Logan Nelson is 2nd among freshman in points with 30 and looking to improve on a his 3 game point streak where he's collected 7 points.  Captain Hayden Rintoul coming off a 3 point night, now leads all defenseman in power play goals with 6.  In the 2 game series versus the Blazers, the line of Sundher, Nelson and Jamie Crooks have combined for 13 points, scoring 5 of Victoria’s 8 goals.

By starting off December with a win tonight in Kelowna, the Royals would leap frog past the Rockets for sole possesion of 3rd place.  Catch the pregame show at 6:45 on The Zone @ 91.3 FM, or online at www.thezone.fm.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

KAM 6 - VIC 5 OT FINAL

ROYALS FALL TO BLAZERS IN OVERTIME IN A BARN BURNER 
by Dustin Forbes BCIT Intern at The Zone @ 91.3 FM

After losing 4-3 on Tuesday night in the first half of a two game set with the Kamloops Blazers, the Victoria Royals fell in overtime, as Blazers Captain, Chase Schaber scored the winner 2:30 into the extra frame on the powerplay. The Royals remain winless in their last six games and have dropped three straight games at the Save-on Foods Memorial Centre. Royals finish November with a 2-8-1 record.

It was another tough start for the Royals as they gave up the first two goals of the game and found themselves down a pair just 3:56 into the hockey game as Colin Smith and Matt Needham potted goals for Kamloops. The Blazers scored again as Tyler Hansen sailed one in from the blueline over the shoulder of Royals netminder, Keith Hamilton, but the goal was disallowed as there was incidental contact with the goaltender by the Blazers forward in front of the net. Moments later, Royals Captain, Hayden Rintoul blasted home his 7th of the season on the powerplay to get the Royals within a goal; but the Blazers scored with just 2:24 left in the period to go up 3-1 after twenty minutes of play.

A huge second period for the hometown team, led by Kevin Sundher; he scored 1:34 into the second period to get the Royals back to within a goal with his 17th of the year from new linemates Logan Nelson and Jamie Crooks. Just over four minutes later, Sundher would strike again. This time on a solo dash, ripping home a wrist shot from the top of the slot over Blazers goalie, Cole Cheveldave’s glove to tie the game at three. Steven Hodges would match his jersey number with his 11th of the season to give the Royals their first lead of the night, but it was short-lived, as Chase Souto scored a beauty just 32 seconds later to see a 4-4 game through the first two periods.

Each team would add another in the third. Just 32 seconds in, Tim Bozon put the Blazers up a goal making it a 5-4 hockey game. But, the resiliency for the Royals continued as persistence paid off for Zane Jones; he potted his 4th goal of the year on a backhand over the glove of the Kamloops keeper to tie it once again.

In overtime, Royals defenseman Jesse Pauls took a penalty just 1:17 into the extra frame, and the Blazers would make Victoria pay. Chase Schaber sniped his fourth goal in the two games in Victoria to lift the Blazers over the Royals 6-5 in overtime.

Head Coach and General Manager, Marc Habscheid, said after the game, “The first period was horrendous. We were not good at all in the first period.” He went on to say, “In the last two periods, I thought were pretty good. I thought we made some real bad turnovers.”

Royals Assistant Coach, Craig Didmon after the loss:
 

Kevin Sundher had two goals in the game, while linemate Logan Nelson lead all scorers in the game with four assists. Nelson had six points in the two games against Kamloops

The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Royals as they head to the Okanagan for games over the weekend against the Kelowna Rockets on Friday, before meeting the Blazers for the fourth time in eight days in Kamloops on Saturday night.

You can catch both games live with Marlon Martens on The Zone at 91.3

Stars:
1) Sundher
2) Bozon
3) Nelson

Power Plays:
Kam 1/3, Vic 1/5

Shots:
Kam 30, Vic 30

Attendance:
4612

Preview vs Kamloops

Brendan Ranford enjoyed the first four-assist game of his career, while Chase Schaber scored his 2nd career hat trick as the Kamloops Blazers got past the Royals 4-3 Tuesday night in Victoria.

The Royals battled back twice to tie the game on a pair of goals by Jamie Crooks, and Logan Nelson got them to within one, but it was as close as they’d come dropping their 5th straight.

Kevin Sundher’s surpassed Ryan Howse franchise point record on his first of 2 assists on the evening, pulling off the feat 22 games faster than Howse.

This evening Kamloops enters riding a 3 game win streak including 2 wins versus Victoria, and has won all 3 games in the season series.  They sit 2nd in the BC Division, 1 back of Vancouver with 3 in hand, and are 10 games over .500 this season.  They have a better record away from home, boasting points in 9 of 11 road games.

While dropping 8 of their last 9, Victoria remains tied for 3rd in the BC Division with Kelowna, however the Rockets have 2 games in hand.

Tonight the Royals look to wrap up the month of November with a win, snap a 5 game slide and avenge last nights 4-3 loss in the back half of 2 game home set verses the Kamloops Blazers in Victoria.

TRADE:

Following the game, the Blazers announced they have traded veteran defenceman Josh Caron, 20, to the Everett Silvertips for a fourth-round pick in the 2014 bantam draft.

JUST A GOAL:

While dominant all season in one goal games, Victoria has dropped their last 2 by a single score.  They’ve won 7 of 9 games where they score 1st but have failed to do so in 8 straight, picking up a Shoot Out Win in that stretch.  Their record in one goal games (8-3-0-1)

LINE DANCE:

With Sundher and Hodges flipping to each others lines recently, some old chemistry has been renewed between Sundher and Crooks from last year with the Bruins…each had 2 point nights, and 4 points in the last 2.

MINI SERIES:
- Royals yet to lose 2 game mini-series
- Played 7, 2 game sets.  Sweep (Kel & PG), Split (Sea, MH, RD, Van x 2)

MOVEMBER:
- The moustaches will be gone soon, as it's the last game of the month.
- Royals record in November (2-8)

‘LOOPS STINGY:
- Given up the 2nd fewest goals against in the conference (68)
- 3rd Fewest Shots Against on average in League

BLAZIN’:
- 3rd Most Goals For in League with 3.96 per game on average

CHILLED:
- Royals have fewest shots for on average per game 26.41
- Have given up Most Goals Against on average per game with 5

STREAKIN’
- Sundher on a 4 game point streak (3+3=6), Tied 6th in Scoring, 3rd Assists.
- Crooks 4 points in last 2 games (2+2-4)
- Nelson has points in 5 of last 6 (4+3=7), Tied for 3rd in Rookie Scoring

HEAD TO HEAD:
Chase Schaber 3 (6+1=7)
JC Lipon 3 (3+3=6)
Colin Smith 3 (2+3=5)

Brendan Ranford 2 (0+4=4)
Logan Nelson 3 (3+1=4)
Kevin Sundher 3 (1+2=3)

TRAIL BLAZERS:
- Dangerous on the road, picking up points in 9 of 11.
- 6 games over .500 away from ISC…better than home record (4 over .500)

SPECIAL TEAMS:
- Blazers lead the league in short handed goals with 9.
- Royals 0/3, Blazers ¼ last night

‘TENDERS:
- Cole Cheveldave 5th best GAA 2.43, started last 6, won 3 straight
- Keith Hamilton started last 12, 3rd in Saves in League (695)

GETTING FAMILIAR:
- Victoria plays Kamloops 3 times in 6 nights after tonight, and 4 times in 9 nights after Saturday.
- Twice at Home, Twice on the Road
- Game 4 of 6 game stretch vs BC Divison (0-3)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

KAM 4 - VIC 3

Chase Schaber’s 3 goal performance helped the Kamloops Blazers get past the Royals 4-3 Tuesday night in Victoria.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist

The Royals battled back twice to tie the game on a pair of goals by Jamie Crooks, and Logan Nelson got them to within one, but it was as close as they’d come dropping their 5th straight.

Kevin Sundher’s surpassed Ryan Howse franchise point record on his first of 2 assists on the evening, bringing his total to 219.

The Blazers got on the board first as Schaber's shot bounces off the body of defenseman Jesse Pauls past Hamilton.  Jamie Crooks would score his 100th point of his career snapping a rebound past Cheveldave for his 11st of the season.

A carbon copy in the second as Schaber and Crooks exchanged goals.  In the third, Schaber would complete the hatrick on a breakaway to take the lead for a third time.  JC Lipon would open an 2 goal lead with his 9th, before Logan Nelson got in alone to backhand his 12th to draw the Royals to within one.

Kamloops took a late penalty, and with the goalie pulled Victoria was unable to capatalize dropping their 3rd to the Blazers in the season series.

The post game thoughts of Assistant Coach of the Royals, Craig Didmon




Power Play:
Victoria 0/3 - Kamloops 1/4

Shots:
Victoria 29 - Kamloops 30

Saves:
Hamilton 26/30, Cheveldave 26/29

Stars:
1) Schaber (3 Goals)
2) Crooks (2 Goals)
3) Ranford (4 Assists)

Attendance: 4400

They’ll go at it again Wednesday night with a 6:45 pregame show, 7:05 puck drop on the Zone @ 91.3 FM

To view more game pics, click here: http://bit.ly/vRXh4t