Monday, 26 August 2013

Main Camp: Day 1 (Hodges & Vollrath)

Team Quigley’s 8-5 win over Team Smith
The Victoria Royals opening day of main camp wrapped up Monday evening with Team Quigley’s 8-5 win over Team Smith at the SOFMC.

54 players are in attendance, split into 3 teams - with Team Renyard rounding out the squads.

Jiri Fronk, the Royals 31st overall pick in the European draft earlier this summer was not in atttendance.  The 19 year old 6’4 forward from the Czech Republic is being held back by contractual issues, and Victoria is waiting on the IIHF’s ruling within a week.

Steven Hodges
Forward Steven Hodges (3rd rd Florida ’12) was back on the ice having added 18 pounds to his frame over the summer.

He’s one of four Royals invited to NHL rookie camps but it’s very likey he will not being going because a minor injury that could require surgery.

“It’s just minor surgery that needs to be taken care of.” said Hodges after Monday’s scrimmage, “We’re going to hopefully get it done and then get back as soon as possible.”

It would be the second year in a row Hodges would miss Florida camp, with last year being due to the NHL lock out.

“In a way I can look at it as a positive for me, so when they see me for the first time playing against the older guys I’ll be more mature and more ready - and I’ll make a good appearance.”

Game 1 action of Main Camp
Other NHL camp invitees include Logan Nelson (5th rd Buffalo ‘12), Keegan Kanzig (3rd rd Calgary ‘13) and Ben Walker (Minnesota, Unsigned – Invitee).  They could miss parts of the Royals exhibition season or longer depending on how well they perform.  All attended NHL Development Camps earlier this summer and are participating in Prospect Tournaments from Sept 5-9th.

Coleman Vollrath
Between the pipes, netminder Patrik Polivka will be looking over his shoulder as Coleman Vollrath will be vying for the number one spot.

“My goal is to definitely push for the starting job here…” Vollrath said after the scrimmage. “It felt good out there. “

After appearing in 27 games for the Royals last season, he did some fishing in Mexico with his Dad to recharge the batteries.  Then Vollrath went to work, hitting the gym 6 days a week, plus skating 4 to 5 days a week in Calgary.  He also skated with Head Coach Dave Lowry at his Pro Ice times to help prepare.

6'6 Evan Smith
“Coming into camp you have to prove yourself all over again you can’t take anything for granted.”

Four other goaltenders are battling for spots including Victoria Cougars Michael Herringer (9th rd pick ’11), and South Island Royal Markus Daly (5th rd in ’12).  They’ll be fighting for a spot alongside rookie camp attendee Griffen Outhouse (’98 from Williams Lake) and 6’6 Evan Smith from Colorado (NAPHL) who looked imposing Monday night.

“There’s a lot of good goalies and we’re all pushing for the same job, all I can do is go and give it my best every day and let the chips fall where they may.” Said the an upbeat and positive Vollrath.

Games resume Tuesday morning at the SOFMC with Team Renyard facing off againstTeam Quigley at 10:15 a.m.
Camp Schedule
Main Camp wraps up Wednesday with the intra-squad game is by donation that evening at 7.

The Camp concludes with the Royals’ 2013 Intra-Squad Game on Wednesday, August 28th at 7:05 p.m. at SOFMC.  Admission is by donation to the GoodLife Fitness Children’s Foundation.

All on-ice sessions during camp are open to the public.

Find the training camp schedule here:

Victoria’s first 3 exhibition games are in Everett where they face the Silvertips August 30th at 7pm, the Seattle Thunderbirds at 3pm Saturday Aug 31st, and the Tri City Americans Sunday Sept. 1st at 11:30 am.

The Royals have one home exhibition date on Saturday Sept 14th at 1:35 vs Vancouver at the SOFMC.

They conclude the 5 game pre-season the following afternoon in Ladner vs the same Giants at 2 pm.

Opening weekend for Victoria is on the road in Vancouver Friday Sept. 20th, and the home opener the following night against the same Giants.

Catch all the regular season Play by Play action on The Zone @ 91.3 FM

-Marlon Martens