Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Preview: Spokane at Victoria, Wed Feb 29th

The Victoria Royals (20-37-2-4, 46pts) look to avenge a 4-2 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs (33-22-4-3, 73pts) in the back half of a two game set Wednesday night.  Pregame show start at 6:45pm on The Zone @ 91.3 FM,

Zane Jones tries to tip a shot past Mac Engel
LAST GAME:  The Chiefs Blake Gal broke a 2-2 tie with 3:20 left in the third, and Spokane added an empty net goal for a 4-2 victory Tuesday night in Victoria.

They Royals opened the scoring, tied it up a 2 in the third, but were unable to capatalize on six power play chances in the loss. 

They were solid on the kill, but we also let them worker harder at that time.”  Craig Didmon, the Royals assistant coach about the six man advantages. 

 “…when we got on the power play we sat back a bit.  Unfortunately that’s an achilles heel for our power play.

G Mac Engel made 26 saves for the win, 3 less than his counterpart, Jared Rathjen.  The Royals got goals by F Dakota Conroy and F Jamie Crooks, his team leading 33rd.  Chiefs F Collin Valcourt had a goal and assist for number one star honours.

When we were physical we were carrying the play, and we were creating opportunities so we’re going to have to bring that [tonight].  Really go after their defense again.”

STANDINGS:  The 7th place Royals remain 2 points ahead of the 8th place Thunderbirds, 3 up on the Silvertips and 6 ahead of the Cougars.  Seattle, Everett and Prince George all have one game in hand.  The Silvertips are at home to the Blazers, while the Cougars entertain the Tigers Wednesday.

The Chiefs are now 3 points back of 4th place Giants in the West with a game in hand, as they jockey for the playoffs home ice advantage.
#7 Tyler Stahl takes down #12 Marek Kalus
SERIES:  Victoria has a record of (0-2-0-1) against Spokane and will wrap up the four game season series tonight.  Previous to Tuesday’s 4-2 loss, the Royals clawed back from a 3 goal deficit Feb. 3rd to earn a road point in a 6-5 shoot out loss.  They also dropped a 6-1 decision in Spokane Oct. 26th.

Spokane 4 @ Victoria 2 (Feb 28 2012)
Victoria 5 @ Spokane 6 (Feb 3 2012) SOL
Victoria 1 @ Spokane 6 (Oct 26 2011)

LOOKING AHEAD:  With 9 games left, tonight is the second of a four game home stand, with Vancouver coming for a pair Saturday and a 1:00pm Sunday matinee.  The Royals will head out on a four game trip with stops in Everett, Kelowna, Everett and Vancouver before returning for their final two home games of the regular season versus Portland.

WHO HOT:  Royals F Dakota Conroy is now on a 3 game point streak (2g 1a).  Steven Hodges has 3 points in his last 2 (1g 2a).  Logan Nelson is 4th in rookie scoring (56 pts), and has assists in back to back games (2a). 

Chiefs F Mitch Holmberg has goals in 3 straight (3g).  D Brenden Kichton leads his team in scoring, and all defenseman in points (60) and assists (47).  F Dominik Uher is second in scoring with 59 points but had his 3 game points streak snapped last night (3g 3a).  Darren Kramer is second in the league in penalty minutes (178), and tops in majors (24).

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING:  Spokane has scored the 8th most goals overall, while giving up the fewest shots on goal in the league per game (26.02).  The Chiefs are the 4th least penalized team on average.  They own the 6th best penalty kill, and their power play is ranked 19th overall.

The Royals power play is ranked 13th, and their penalty killing has been perfect over their last 3 games (11 for 11), moving up to 15th in the league.


Kichton (13-47-60)
Uher (27-32-59)
Holmberg (25-26-51)
Aviani (12-27-39)
Kuhn (12-27-39)

Crooks (33-30-63)
Nelson (21-35-56)
Soudek (25-28-53)
Rintoul (15-31-46)
Magee (21-23-44

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Spokane: Brenden Kichton (NYI ’11), Dominik Uher (PITT ’11), Darren Kramer (OTT ’11)

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For Spokane: Cole Wedman (142), and Reid Gow (185).

For Spokane:

#15, Carter Proft, Upper body, TBD

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month