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 or at The Zone at 91.3.