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.