Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Preview: vs Kamloops

The Royals are coming off a pair of loses on their weekend road swing into the interior, 4-1 in Kamloops Friday and 6-5 in Kelowna Saturday.

It’s the fourth loss in a row for Victoria and longest skid of the season, now sitting tied with Kelowna for 3rd in the BC Division.

It was a see-saw affair Saturday night as the Royals erased a 2-0 Rocket lead with 3 unanswered in the 2nd, fought back to tie at 4 apiece, and almost completed a 3rd comeback but time experied on a Jamie Crooks shot that crossed the line after the final buzzer sounded…it would have been his 100th career point.

Minnesota draft pick Brett Bulmer was the #1 star scoring the hat trick, while Robin Soudek was the third star with his goal and assist – ending his 3 game pointless drought.  It was a scrappy affair with 4 fights, with other highlights include Zach Habscheid scoring his 1st of the season and the Royals impressing with the man advantage going 3 for 5.

Victoria now 3-1 against the Rockets will be back in Kelowna Friday night for the rematch.  It’s was also the Royals 7th loss in their last 8, dipping 3 games below .500.

Kevin Sundher picked up 3 points on the weekend tying Ryan Howse’s franchise record 217 points.  Hayden Rintoul picked up a pair of assists while Brandon Magee on a 3 game point streak has 13 points in his last 11.

Tonight marks the Blazers’ first game in Victoria since Jan. 30, 1994 — The Victoria Cougars winning the game 5-4.

Kamloops is riding a 2 game win streak including the 4-1 victory over Victoria Friday, following that up with a 50 shot effort and an 8-2 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday. 

The Blazers lead the season series 2 – 0 with their other win 8-2 back on Oct 2nd as the Royals wrapped up a 3 game in 3 night road trip.  They sit 2nd in the BC Division, 1 back of Vancouver with 3 in hand, and are 9 games over .500 this season.

Kevin Sundher looks to take the franchise lead in points while leading his Royals back into the win column versus the Kamloops Blazers tonight in Victoria.

- given up the 2nd fewest goals against in the conference (65)...Tri Cities #1 (62)
- giving up less than 20 shots against in each of their final 2 games. 


- Cole Cheveldave has 4th best GAA and 91.4%…started last 5.
- Keith Hamilton started last 11, 5th in Saves in League

- Line of BOZON / SMITH / LIPON (combined 12 points vs Victoria)
- Smith & Lipon have 5 points each 2(2+3=5) in season series.

1st GOAL:
- The Royals haven’t scored 1st in 7 straight (1 sow)
- Only 1 regulation loss in 9 when scoring 1st.

- Dangerous on the road, picking up points in 8 of 10.
- 5 games over .500 away from ISC.
- Victoria is 2 over .500 at home.

- Blazers lead the league in short handed goals with 9.
- Royals 3/5 on PP vs Kel…1/5 vs Kam…after going 3 games without PP goal

- No Blazer or Royal received an invite to the World Junior selection camp.

- D-man Josh Caron serving the final of a 3 game suspension for check to head of Max Reinhart…Caron is from Campbell River.

- Victoria plays Kamloops 3 times in 6 nights after tomorrow, and 4 times in 9 nights after this coming weekend.
- Twice at Home, Twice on the Road
- In middle of 6 game stretch vs BC Divison