The Victoria Royals (9-6, 18pts) visit the Portland Winterhawks (10-3-1-0, 21pts) in their first two meetings of the season at the Rose Garden, Friday and Saturday night.
Pregame show on The Zone @ 91.3 FM 6:45pm Friday and Saturday, or listen online at www.thezone.fm.
Last season, the Royals split the season series at two games a piece, winning both home games in the final two contests of the regular season, helping to propel them into the post season.
Victoria is coming off a pair of weekend road losses, 5-2 in Kamloops Saturday and 4-1 against Vancouver Friday. It’s part of seven consecutive away from home.
Portland is in the middle of a 6 game homestand, and has won 6 in a row, placing them 2nd in the US and 3rd in the Conference. Overall they’ve won 4 of 6 at home.
Victoria is 3rd in the BC Division, and 6th in the Conference.
Most recently, the Winterhawks exploded for four second period goals en route to a 5-2 win over the Everett Silvertips Wednesday at the newly resized Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Portland is ranked 8th in Canada, has outshot the opposition in every contest this season, while taking the most shots for on average per game. They’ve scored the 3rd most goals on average while allowing the fewest against per game. The Winterhawks have scored 5 or more goals per game over their last 5 outings, and 32 total during the current six game win streak.
Portland boasts 6 NHL drafted players, while bringing in 10 new faces this season. Three players will be representing the Winterhawks on Team WHL; Ty Rattie, Tyler Wotherspoon and Derrick Pouliot. Steven Hodges will represent Victoria.
There are four players on the Winterhawks who’s fathers have played pro sports. Former NHL netminder Sean Burkes' son Brendan plays goal, NBA’s Popeye Jones’ son Seth is a rookie defenseman, NHL All Star Pierre Turgeons' son Dominik is a rookie centerman, and Emanuel Viveiros’ son Layne is a freshman rearguard.
The ‘Hawks power play is ranked 19th, while the penalty killing is at the opposite end of the spectrum, rated most efficient in the league. The Royals road power play is 8th best, while 11th best short handed overall.
Portland has yet to lose in regulation when scoring the first goal of the game 6 times, Victoria is 4-0 when striking first.
Winterhawks forward Nic Petan is tied for 11th in scoring with 20 points while riding a 5 game assist streak. He’s 4th in plus minus, with a +16. Forward Ty Rattie is on an 8 game point streak. Denmark’s Oliver Bjorkstrand is 3rd in rookie scoring with 12 pts, and leads all freshman in plus minus with a +12.
After the weekend games in Portland, Victoria travels to Alberta to take on Lethbridge, Calgary and Medicine Hat, part of 5 games in 9 nights on the road.