Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Preview: Game 4 Kamloops at Victora (Wed Mar 28)

Cole Cheveldave makes a stop on Logan Nelson Tuesday night in Victoria.
The Victoria Royals face elimination in a do or die Game 4 against the visiting Kamloops Blazers, trailing in the Western Conference Quarter Final 3-0 in the best of seven series.

Pregame show starts Wednesday night at 6:45 on The Zone @ 91.3 FM.

The Royals along with the Blades and Silvertips are in must win situations tonight.  The last, and apparently only WHL team to come back from a 3-0 series deficit was the 1996 Spokane Chiefs who came back to win 4 straight against the Portland Winter Hawks..

The Blazers haven’t won a playoff series since the spring of 1999 when they beat the Tri-City Americans in the Western Conference final.  The Royals look for the clubs first win in the City’s first WHL playoff since 1989.

Blazers Aspen Sterzer was thwarted by Keith Hamilton on this chance, but prevailed 7-5 Tuesday.
LAST GAME:  Kamloops scored six times in the second period to take Game 3 by a 7-5 score. 

Jamie Crooks hat trick, a franchise first, was over shadowed by the Blazer’s special teams that scored 5 goals, 3 on the power play and 2 short handed.

Victoria led for the first time in the series, 2-0 after 20 minutes and 4-3 in the second, but Kamloops would come from behind twice and never relinquish the lead.

Jared Rathjen started, while Keith Hamilton finshed the game as the pair split the goaltending duties for a second straight game.  Rookie Cole Cheveldave earned his third straight win.

Logan Nelson and Steven Hodges chipped in with a pair of assists each. 

Colin Smith was named the number 1 star with his goal and three assists.  JC Lipon had a goal and two assists for 3rd star honours. 

Blazer Captain Chase Schaber was injured at 3:40 of the first and did not return to the game.  He suffered an apparent skate cut to one of his legs and spent the night in hospital.

The Royals tied a franchise record for most goals scored in a playoff game with 5.  The Chilliwack Bruins scored a 5-1 decision over Tri City back on March 23, 2010 – Jamie Crooks also had a goal that game.

HOME & AWAY:  Victoria is (14-19-1-2) at home, while Kamloops boasts a (22-9-2-3) road record during the regular season.  In the season series, the Royals are (1-2-1-0) at home vs the Blazers.

SUSPENDED: D Austin Madaisky has served one of a two game suspension for a check to the head of Zane Jones in game number two.


Kamloops 7 @ Victoria 5 (Mar 27 2012)
Victoria 4 @ Kamloops 7 (Mar 24 2012)
Victoria 1 @ Kamloops 4 (Mar 23 2012)

In the combined 3 games, the Royals have outscored the Blazers in the 1st and 3rd periods by 3-2 and 4-2 margins.  Kamloops holds the edge in the second period with a combined 14-3 advantage over Victoria.

Kamloops: 2-14-2 (18)    Victoria: 3-3-4 (10)

Kamloops: 36-49-35 (120)    Victoria: 25-29-23 (77)

Kamloops: 5 / 17 (29.41%)    Victoria: 1 / 13 (7.69%)


Lipon (1-6-7)
Smith (1-5-6)
Bozon (4-0-4)
Willick (3-1-4)
Schaber (2-2-4)

Crooks (4-1-5)
Hodges (0-4-4)
Nelson (0-3-3)
Carroll (2-0-2)
Soudek (2-0-2)


Keith Hamilton 3 (0-2) 5.50 0.867
Jared Rathjen 2 (0-1) 7.02 0.822

Cole Cheveldave 3 (3-0) 3.33 0.872


For Kamloops
#10, Chase Schaber
Suspension: Austin Madaisky, 2 games under supplemental discipline versus Victoria on March 24 (Served 1).

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body
#18 Brandon Magee, Undisclosed

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS:  For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Kamloops: Brendan Ranford (PHI ’10), D Austin Madaisky (CBJ ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For Kamloops: Tim Bozon (39)


Game 1 – Fri Mar 23 Victoria 1 at Kamloops 4
Game 2 - Sat Mar 24 Victoria 4 at Kamloops 7
Game 3 - Tues Mar 27 Kamloops 7 at Victoria 5
Game 4 - Wed Mar 28 7:05 PM Kamloops at Victoria
Game 5 - Fri Mar 30 7:00 PM Victoria at Kamloops **
Game 6 - Mon Apr 2 7:05 PM Kamloops at Victoria **
Game 7 - Wed Apr 4 7:00 PM Victoria at Kamloops **
(** - if necessary)

HISTORY: It’s the Royals franchise 5th post season birth in 6 years.  As the Bruins, Chilliwack lost in it’s first two seasons in the first round to Vancouver, missed the following year, then fell in six to Tri City in 2010, and in five to Spokane last year.

The WHL playoffs have returned to Victoria after a 23 year hiatus.  The last WHL playoff was a best of 9 Western Conference Semi-Final between the Victoria Cougars and the Kamloops Blazers.  Kamloops won 5 games to 3.