Friday, 28 December 2012

Recap: PG 1 - VIC 5

Ben Walker scored twice, and earned a Gordie Hat Trick as the Victoria Royals defeated the visiting Prince George Cougars 5-1 Friday night, their first game back after the Christmas Break.

Sometimes these breaks are a good thing…refreshed everybody.” – Royals Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto

Walker (2g 1a), along with Jamie Crooks (1g 2a), and Brandon Magee (3a) had 3 point nights and were named Stars 1 through 3 respectively.  Walker won a fight against Zach Pochiro in the first, and now has 12 goals on the year, and 29 points in 32 games.

Mitch Deacon is stopped by Brett Zarowny
The Royals led 2-1 after 20 minutes, and 3-1 after 40.  Taylor Crunk scored the eventual game winning goal with 1:02 left in the first period, and was excited about the club’s performance.

I felt we played a great team game through all the 3 periods, and I thought we did all the little things we needed to do…We got off to a good start, and I thought that was key for us tonight.

Patrik Polivka earned his 15th win with 19 saves.
Steven Hodges who was very effective in the face off circle, rounded out the scoring with his 9th of the year in the third.  The final two Victoria  goals came :37 apart in the final frame to put the game out of reach.

Royals forward Logan Nelson left the game in the first after falling akwardly along the boards after a hit and was seen later on crutches.

According to Sacilotto, “It’s a lower body injury…we’ll find out a little bit more tomorrow, he’s going back and see the doctors and find out exactly what the problem is.

Ben Walker (far left) had 2 goals, 1 assist and a fight.
Victoria was already without leading scorer Alex Gogolev (day to day), defensemen Joe Hicketts and Ryan Gagnon to the U-17 tournament in Quebec, and F Luke Harrison who missed his 7th in a row – but found a way to score 5 goals.

A good team is a sum of it’s parts.  If you want to be an elite team then it doesn’t matter who’s missing from the line up, the other guys have to to carry the load and find a way to get it done.” said Sacilotto.

Patrik Polivka earned his 15th victory with 19 saves, infront of his family who flew in to see him from the Czech Republic, their first visit to Victoria.  His counterpart, reigning CHL Goaltender of the Week, Brett Zarowny dropped his 8th decision allowing 5 goals on 34 Royal shots.  Victoria was especially dominant on the shot clock in the second period with a 14-3 advantage, which pleased Sacilotto,

I thought we had a great second period, probably one of our best of the season.  We broke it open in the third and very pleased with the effort from every single player on our team tonight.”

The Royals scored once on four power play opportunities, while the Cougars struck out on three chances.

The clubs will meet again on Saturday on the Island with Victoria taking a 4-1 season series lead, now with 4 consecutive wins against Prince George.  According to Sacilotto,

We’re going to let them (players) enjoy the victory…but tomorrow morning…it’s back to business and see if we can sweep this, and put Prince George behind us.  That was our goal going into the weekend – step 1 accomplished.”

Prince George Cougars 1 at Victoria Royals 5 - Status: Final
Friday, December 28, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Prince George 1 0 0 - 1
Victoria 2 1 2 - 5

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Crooks 16 (Magee, Walker), 10:06 (PP).
2, Prince George, McNulty 6 (Bourke), 12:42.
3, Victoria, Crunk 2 (Traber, Dixon), 18:58.

Penalties-McNulty P.g (roughing), 7:51; Gibb P.g (interference), 9:22; Grewal P.g (high sticking), 9:31; Stahl Vic (interference), 12:57; Pochiro P.g (major-fighting), 15:52; Walker Vic (major-fighting), 15:52.

2nd Period-
4, Victoria, Walker 11 (Magee, Crooks), 14:51.

Penalties-Ehrhardt P.g (roughing), 12:50.

3rd Period-
5, Victoria, Hodges 9 (Crooks, Magee), 7:43.
6, Victoria, Walker 12 (Carroll, Walker), 8:20.

Penalties-Mykitiuk P.g (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 8:55; Crooks Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 8:55; Stahl Vic (charging), 10:43; Stahl Vic (roughing), 14:44.

Shots on Goal-
Prince George 9-3-8-20.
Victoria 11-14-9-34.

Power Play Opportunities-
Prince George 0 / 3;
Victoria 1 / 4.
Prince George, Zarowny 8-8-0-0 (34 shots-29 saves).
Victoria, Polivka 15-8-0-2 (20 shots-19 saves).

Referees-Adam Byblow (23).
Linesmen-Kirk Van Helvoirt (107), Bevan Mills (98).