Friday, 16 March 2012

Recap: PORT 1 - VICT 3

The Victoria Royals clinched their first playoff birth in their inaugural campaign Friday night in front of the clubs 7th sell-out of the season.

It took a 3-1 win over the visiting Portland Winterhawks, coupled with an Everett Silvertips loss, to secure a spot in the post season. 
Mike Forsyth (1g 1a) congratulates Keith Hamilton in a 3-1 Royals win.
Not since the 1989 Cougars has the city of Victoria seen Major Junior playoff hockey.  It’s the fifth playoff birth for the franchise.

Coach & GM of the Royals Marc Habscheid was pleased with his young groups effort:

The Royals first round opposition is uncertain, as the 9th place Thunderbirds can still catch and surpass 7th place Victoria.

The Royals wrap up the regular season with 55 points, the Thunderbirds with 52 have 2 games left, the Silvertips also with 52 have just 1 game remaining. 

Everett can no longer catch Victoria.  Prince George was eliminated from playoff contention Friday night.

If Seattle ties Victoria in points, the Royals would be relegated to 8th as the Thunderbirds have more wins.  Seattle plays at home to Everett Saturday night, and then travel to Portland Sunday.

Habscheid also commented on their defensive effort:

#15 Jamie Crooks scored his 37th of the season in the victory.
Victoria picks up 5 of a possible 6 points in their final 3 games will start round one on the road in either Tri City or Kamloops next Friday March 23rd.  Portland will now face Kelowna, and Vancouver will battle Spokane in the opening round.

Friday night the Royals broke a 1-1 third period tie with 2 goals 1:48 apart enroute to 3-1 victory.  It was the second win in a row for Victoria over Portland, defeating the Winterhawks 4-3 Wednesday.  They tied the season series at 2 games a piece.

Dakota Conroy scored the lone first period goal, while Nicholas Petan added a single in the second.

Mike Forsyth fired in his 3rd in the final frame, which led to Jamie Crooks 36th of the season under two minutes later.  The Winterhawks pulled the goaltender late while playing 4 on 4, but were unable to muster anymore offense.  Forsyth had a goal and assist, including the game winner.

Habscheid on Forsyth's efforts:

Keith Hamilton pounces on a puck, made 37 saves.
Keith Hamilton earned first star honours with a 37 save performance, his 20th win of the season and second against his former club.  Mac Carruth turned aside 29 in the defeat.

The Royals went 0 for 1 with the man advantage, while shutting down all three Winterhawks chances, ranked #1 for a second straight game.  Victoria heads into the post season killing off 40 of 42 chances over their last 12 games.

Habscheid discussed the teams penalty killing and the play of netminder Keith Hamilton:

Logan Nelson tries a shot on Mac Carruth.
Habscheid on the invaluable playoff experience that lies ahead:

Portland Winterhawks 1 at Victoria Royals 3 - Status: Final
Friday, March 16, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Portland 0 1 0 - 1
Victoria 1 0 2 - 3

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Conroy 11 (Forsyth), 14:25.

Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period-
2, Portland, Petan 14 (Rattie), 0:55.

Penalties-Wrenn Por (cross checking), 1:28; Stahl Vic (roughing), 8:45; Kanzig Vic (slashing), 13:59.

3rd Period-
3, Victoria, Forsyth 3 (Fransoo, Conroy), 5:40.
4, Victoria, Crooks 37 (Nelson), 7:28.

Penalties-Cote Vic (interference), 2:48; Pouliot Por (cross checking), 18:52; Conroy Vic (roughing), 18:52; Ross Por (10-minute misconduct), 19:56; Stahl Vic (10-minute misconduct), 19:56.

Shots on Goal-
Portland 13-16-9-38.
Victoria 9-10-13-32.

Power Play Opportunities-
Portland 0 / 3; Victoria 0 / 1.

Portland, Carruth 42-17-2-0 (32 shots-29 saves).
Victoria, Hamilton 20-31-1-4 (38 shots-37 saves).

Referees-Tyler Adair (58), Matt Kirk (4).
Linesmen-Kirk Van Helvoirt (107), Ron Dietterle (121).