It was a battle of the top teams in the West, with the Kamloops Blazers (6-0-0-1) regaining the number one seed with a 5-2 home ice victory. Victoria (6-3) saw their 2 game road win streak snapped, and go .500 (2-2) wrapping up 4 consecutive on the road.
“We had a pretty good first period being on the road…we weren’t our best tonight,” said Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto.
After the Blazers built up period leads of 1-0 and 2-0, the Royals pushed hard in the third and got goals from Jamie Crooks, and Taylor Crunk, but fell short to the 3rd ranked team in Canada.
Afer Victoria out shot Kamloops 9-7 in the first, the Blazers fired 17 in the middle frame, not allowing a single one against. The Royals then proceeded to out shoot the Blazers in the third 18-7.
“In the second period we played in our end a lot and didn’t generate any offense at all…we had a good push in the third, but not enough, we got too far behind in the game.”
Patrik Polivka played the first two periods stopping 21 of 24, while Coleman Vollrath (3rd round pick in 2010) got his first taste of WHL action, playing the third and kicking out 5 of 7. Cole Cheveldave earned first star honours with 25 saves.
“We made the goaltending change to see if we could get things going, and we did somewhat but again, we fell too far behind.” Said Sacilotto when asked if the change was made to provide a spark.
Victoria has now notched a power play tally in each of their last 5 games going 1 for 6, their penalty kill a perfect 3 for 3 against the 4th best power play in the league.
Logan Nelson pushed his point streak to 5 games, assisting on both Royals goals. Taylor Crunk earned his first regular season goal in the WHL, and also had a fight against Aaron Macklin.
The line of Tim Bozon, JC Lipon and Colin Smith scored 6 points, each collecting a goal and an assist. Brendan Ranford scored the eventual game winner in the second while Cole Ully rounded out the scoring. Dylan Willick provide 2 helpers.
Kamloops has now won 2 of 3 in the 8 game season series and will meet again in the interior Oct 27th. The Blazers remain unbeaten in regulation this season.
“It’s been a pretty tough 2 weeks here with the road trip down south and all the games we’ve been playing…” commented Sacilotto.
Up next Victoria return home for their first two meetings of the season against the 4th place Kelowna Rockets (3-4-1-0), Friday and Saturday. “…I think the players have a lot left in them, they’re excited to play back at home, we’ll definitely be ready for the weekend.”
Victoria Royals 2 at Kamloops Blazers 5 - Status: Final
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Interior Savings Centre - Kamloops, BC
Victoria 0 0 2 - 2
Kamloops 1 2 2 - 5
1, Kamloops, Lipon 4 (Ranford, Bell), 17:51.
Penalties-Stahl Vic (interference), 8:12; Hrbas Kam (tripping), 8:23; Bozon Kam (kneeing), 9:30; Zgraggen Vic (roughing), 11:56; Lipon Kam (roughing), 11:56; Walker Vic (interference), 13:54; Magee Vic (cross checking), 19:22; Ranford Kam (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 19:22; Zgraggen Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 20:00; Hrbas Kam (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 20:00.
2, Kamloops, Smith 4 (Lipon, Bozon), 15:24.
3, Kamloops, Ranford 3 (Trzonkowski, Willick), 19:14.
Penalties-Trzonkowski Kam (cross checking), 4:06; Crunk Vic (major-fighting), 7:06; Macklin Kam (major-fighting), 7:06; Kanzig Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 9:01; Souto Kam (10-minute misconduct), 9:01.
4, Victoria, Crooks 3 (Gogolev, Nelson), 0:53.
5, Kamloops, Bozon 6 (Thomson, Willick), 5:12.
6, Victoria, Crunk 1 (Nelson, Fransoo), 7:41 (PP).
7, Kamloops, Ully 4 (Needham, Rehill), 15:31.
Penalties-Bell Kam (interference), 2:16; Carroll Vic (roughing), 7:16; Fisher Vic (roughing), 7:16; Gaudet Kam (roughing, roughing), 7:16; Needham Kam (roughing), 7:16; Ully Kam (charging), 9:46; Magee Vic (roughing, unsportsmanlike cnd.), 17:14; Rehill Kam (roughing, unsportsmanlike cnd.), 17:14.
Shots on Goal-
Victoria 9-0-18-27. Kamloops 7-17-7-31.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 6; Kamloops 0 / 3.
Victoria, Polivka 5-2-0-0 (24 shots-21 saves); Vollrath 0-0-0-0 (7 shots-5 saves).
Kamloops, Cheveldave 4-0-0-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Steve Papp (17).
Linesmen-Mike Langin (67), Ward Pateman (124).