Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Preview: Victoria at Swift Current

Victoria warms up in Swift Current
It’s the third of a six game eastern road swing for the Victoria Royals (14-25-2-3) as they look to tame the 10th place Broncos in Swift Current (17-22-2-3) Tuesday night.

SERIES:  Their last meeting was December 7th, 2010 in Chilliwack, with Swift Current winning 5-4.  The franchise has a 1-3 record vs the Broncos.

LAST GAME: Victoria snapped a 10 game winless streak with a 4-3 shoot out win in Brandon Saturday night.

After Brandon built period leads of 2-0 and 3-2, Brandon Magee tied it up with just over 6 minutes left in the third. Ben Walker provided the shoot out heroics to go along with his 2 assists in being named the number one star.

Jamie Crooks and Dakota Conroy (against his former team), provided the other tally’s for the Royals.  Former Royal Kevin Sundher had his first 2 assists as a Wheat King and also scored in the shoot out.  Keith Hamilton picked up his 13th win of the season with 39 saves while his club peppered the Wheat Kings with 49 shots.

The Broncos are in the middle of a 4 game homestand, and snapped a two game skid with a 4-0 blanking of the visiting Red Deer Rebels Saturday night. Swift’s leading scorer Taylor Vause had 2 helpers as Jon Groenheyde made 25 saves for his first shut out, while collecting his 14th win of the season.

THE NUMBERS: Much like Brandon, Swift Current boasts a potent power play, 4th in the league – but a dismal 22nd while short handed.  They’ve taken the 3rd most penalties on average – 4 minutes more per game than Victoria.  The Broncos middle frame statistically is their weakest, being out scored by a margin of 23, the club is even in the third.  Swift plays well at the iPlex, 4 over .500.

STANDINGS: Victoria holds the 8th playoff spot in the West with 33 points, 2 back of Seattle and 1 up on Prince George who have a game in hand – a team they’ll encounter 6 more times with this season.  The Broncos are 10th in the East, 4 back of the Rebels and 8 points out of a playoff spot. 

It’s the beginning of a 4 game in 5 night stretch for Victoria to conclude the 6 in 9 eastern road swing.  Next up Moose Jaw tomorrow, Prince Albert Friday, and Saskatoon Saturday.

STREAKS:  Jamie Crooks extends his point scoring streak to 7 games (6g, 6a).  Brandon Magee has goals in 3 straight, Ben Walker has 3 points in his last two (1g 2a).  Steven Hodges and Robin Soudek each have assists in back to back games.

BRONCO THREATS:  Swift is led in scoring by Taylor Vause (VAWZ) with 51 points, rookie Coda Gordon is next with 38, and the son of former NHL’er Dave Lowry, Adam (WPG ’11) follows with 37.  Lowry has missed the last 8 games with an upper body injury.  He’s the brother of former BCHL Victoria Grizzlies forward and L.A.-Kings drafted Joel Lowry.

On defense Reece Scarlett (NJ ’11) leads the charge offensively with 32 points, while Richard Nedomlel (DET ’11) is 6’4 225 lbs, and has 22 points.

SWIFT TRADES: The Broncos acquired defenceman Eric Walker from the Vancouver Giants in exchange for an 8th round pick in 2012 on January 10th.  The Broncos received forward Levi Bews from Vancouver in exchange for a 6th round pick in 2012.  The Broncos acquired forward Adam Rossignol from the Kootenay Ice in exchange for defenceman Tanner Muth on January 6th.

For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Upper Body) has missed 40 games.
For Swift:
Adam Smith – Upper Body – 1 Week
Shea Howorko – Upper Body – Week to Week
Adam Lowry – Upper Body – 1 Month +
Jordan Evans – Upper Body – 1 Month +

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108). The Broncos: Coda Gordon rated 38th and Graham Black 53rd. Coda Gordon has been selected to take part in the 2012 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.