Saturday, 17 December 2011

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.