|The scoreboard final, 9-6 loss in Saskatoon|
The Royals picked up wins in Brandon, and Prince Albert with losses coming in Regina, Swift Current, and Moose Jaw, and most recently in Saskatoon.
It was a see saw affair Saturday night at the Credit Union Center with 15 goals being scored in a game much closer than the 9-6 loss to the Blades would indicate.
“It felt like the last shot was going to win the game…it was a gun-slinging affair back and forth the whole way and we had the lead a number of times and just couldn’t hold on.” According to Ben Cooper, the Assistant Coach of the Royals.
Wearing their throwback ‘Pac-man’ jerseys, Saskatoon jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Michael Burns and Darren Dietz before Robin Soudek scored his 20th to cut the Blades lead to 2-1 after 20 minutes.
|Lukas Sutter tips a shot. Credit: Gord Waldner, Star Phoenix|
Ryan Olsen brought the Blades to within one, but rookie Luke Harrison would score his first WHL goal to regain the 2 goal advantage. Dalton Thrower and Lukas Sutter added a pair before the period was out and the game was tied at 5 heading into the third.
“…It was one of those games where we made a mistake and it was in our net.” said Cooper.
|Blades rookie, Alex Moodie|
Playing against his former club, Jamie Crooks gave Victoria a 6-5 lead with his 25th goal, and 50th point. Saskatoon responded in earnest, with 4 unanswered, the last 2 shorthanded into an empty net in the final minute to seal it for the Blades, 9-6 final.
Rookie netminder Alex Moodie made 22 saves for his 9th win in 13 straight appearances, while Keith Hamilton suffered his 23rd loss with 33 stops. Victoria was scoreless on 3 power plays, while Saskatoon went 1 for 5 – yet scored twice just as the man advantage expired.
When asked if perhaps fatigue was a factor late in the third, playing 4 games in 5 nights, Cooper felt it was more mental, “I thought the guys had pretty good energy tonight and the guys were ready to play… a young team has a tendency to let up when you have a bit of a lead…a bit of mental let down, focus seemed to be lost there for a couple crucial moments, they tied it up quick and that seemed to be the way the game went back and forth.”
Dalton Thrower completed the hat trick and was named the number one star with 5 points. Austin Carroll with goals in back to back games was second (1g 1a), and Michael Burns 4 point effort (2g 2a) earned the third star. Ben Walker and Kade Pilton each chipped in with a pair of assists.
For a second night in a row, six different Royals scored the goals but this time all at even strength. Cooper responded to the back to back goal outburst, “..we just needed to throw pucks to the net, just get every puck to the net we possibly could, and drive…we knew just to shoot everything, and that generates second and third chances and that got us going the last couple nights.”
|The Royals bench, before the game in Saskatoon|
The Kamloops Blazers come for a pair Friday and Saturday night, ranked 4th in CHL. The Royals have yet to defeat the Blazers with a 0-4-1-0 record this season.
Victoria Royals 6 at Saskatoon Blades 9 - Status: Final
Saturday, January 21, 2012 - Credit Union Centre - Saskatoon, SK
Victoria 1 4 1 - 6
Saskatoon 2 3 4 - 9
1, Saskatoon, Burns 19 (Siemens, Thrower), 10:59.
2, Saskatoon, Dietz 8 14:04.
3, Victoria, Soudek 20 14:52.
Penalties-Harrison Vic (tripping), 5:31; Trask Sas (10-minute misconduct), 10:59.
4, Victoria, Nelson 20 (Walker, Crooks), 0:38.
5, Victoria, Magee 14 (Fransoo, Hodges), 1:17.
6, Victoria, Carroll 5 (Pilton), 4:21.
7, Saskatoon, Olsen 8 (Siemens, Thrower), 10:56.
8, Victoria, Harrison 1 (Carroll, Kanzig), 16:56.
9, Saskatoon, Thrower 10 (Benson), 17:26 (PP).
10, Saskatoon, Sutter 21 (Siemens), 17:55.
Penalties-Rintoul Vic (high sticking), 8:52; Conroy Vic (hooking), 17:18; Sutter Sas (high sticking), 18:51.
11, Victoria, Crooks 25 (Walker, Pilton), 2:01.
12, Saskatoon, Thrower11 (Pufahl, Burns), 8:38.
13, Saskatoon, Schmidt 2 (Collins, Olsen), 10:26.
14, Saskatoon, Thrower 12 (Burns), 19:02 (SH EN).
15, Saskatoon, Burns 20 19:32 (SH EN).
Penalties-Magee Vic (holding), 6:34; Hodges Vic (charging), 13:58; Burns Sas (tripping), 15:31; Dietz Sas (boarding), 18:56.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 3; Saskatoon 1 / 5.
Victoria, Hamilton 14-23-1-3 (40 shots-33 saves).
Saskatoon, Moodie 9-3-0-0 (28 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Reagan Vetter (79), Colin Watt (72).
Linesmen-Jonny Bast (129), Kyle Paulsen (96).