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