Friday, 17 January 2014

Recap: KEL 1 - VIC 3

Crunk fought Goulbourne, Photo: Larry Quigley
Steven Hodges had 3 points and Patrik Polivka made 34 saves as the Victoria Royals (30-15-0-2, 60pts) beat the visiting Kelowna Rockets 3-1 Friday night in the beginning of a back to back set.

Polivka made 34 saves
The Royals beat the #1 team in the CHL for a 3rd time in 5 tries this season, and for the first time on home ice infront of 5,389 fans.

“Our guys played hard, they paid attention to details and when we did have breakdowns, our goaltender made saves…” Dave Lowry, Royals Head Coach

The Rockets (36-6-0-2, 74pts) rookie Nick Merkley opened the scoring, but Royals defenseman Travis Brown scored his first as a Royal just 1:19 later to tie the game giving his club a spark. 

Hodges banged home a rebound before the first was out and added a second in the third period during a 5 on 3 power play.  Hodges took the puck down the left wing a ripped home a shot on the short side.

Jordon Cooke was beaten by Hodges in the 3rd, Photo Larry Quigley
“When you get a 5 on 3 the tendency sometimes is to relax, you get soft…that’s usually the way it happens, your set plays aren’t working and you mysteriously find a way to get one.”  commented Lowry

Victoria was disciplined, holding Kelowna to just one man advantage as the Rockets went 0 for 1.  The Royals were 1 for 4 on the power play against the number ranked penalty kill.

Kelowna on the attack
Polivka earned his 18th win of the year, making 34 saves as his club was outshot 35-27, as his counterpart Jordan Cooke suffered just his 3rd regulation loss of the year.

Victoria earned their 30th win of the year and 62nd point, now just 12 back of league leading Kelowna’s 74.  The Rockets had their 3 game win streak snapped, and suffer just their 6th regulation loss of the year, including twice to the Royals.

Victoria remains the stingiest team in the league, surrendering a single goal to the leagues most offensive unit, while scoring 3 against the 2nd stingiest team in the ‘dub.

Taylor Crunk fought Tyrell Goulbourne in the third after Crunk laid a big hit on the December Player of the Month, Tyson Baillie.
Goulbourne and Crunk get 5 each for fighting

Logan Nelson made his return after missing 11 of the last 13 with an injury, and hit the post in the first when the game was tied at 1.

Marek Tvrdon made his debut with the Rockets and was held off the score sheet but was a +1.

“We’re going to see a different team again tomorrow, and the challenge for us we have to make sure we’re better than we were tonight.” - Lowry

The rematch goes Saturday night, and five game homestand wraps up Tuesday against Medicine Hat.

- Marlon Martens
Austin Carroll infront of netminder Jordon Cooke
Kelowna Rockets 1 at Victoria Royals 3 - Status: Final
Friday, January 17, 2014 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Kelowna 1 0 0 - 1
Victoria 2 0 1 - 3

1st Period-
1, Kelowna, Merkley 12 (Wheaton, Severson), 9:55.
2, Victoria, Brown 10 (Magee, Hodges), 11:14.
3, Victoria, Hodges 10 (Blomqvist), 16:22.

Penalties-Bowey Kel (high sticking), 13:01.

2nd Period-
No Scoring.

Penalties-Bowey Kel (cross checking), 10:49.

3rd Period-
4, Victoria, Hodges 11 (Magee), 5:57 (PP).

Penalties-Wheaton Kel (interference), 4:09; Bowey Kel (tripping), 4:29; Goulbourne Kel (major-fighting), 9:57; Crunk Vic (major-fighting), 9:57; Kohlhauser Vic (hooking), 12:19; Baillie Kel (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 19:18; Walker Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 19:18.

Shots on Goal-
Kelowna 10-12-13-35.
Victoria 15-9-3-27.

Power Play Opportunities-
Kelowna 0 / 1; Victoria 1 / 4.

Kelowna, Cooke 26-3-0-2 (27 shots-24 saves).
Victoria, Polivka 19-10-0-1 (35 shots-34 saves).

Referees-Adam Griffiths (36), Brett Montsion (54).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).