Saturday, 18 January 2014

Recap: KEL 5 - VIC 3

Patrik Polivka wearing the Tri-Forces logo during Defense Team Appreciation Night
The Victoria Royals (30-16-0-2, 62pts) settled for a split against the #1 team in the CHL, Kelowna Rockets (37-6-0-2, 76pts) suffering a 5-3 loss Saturday night after a 3-1 win Friday.

Victoria settled for a split the previous weekend against the #7 team in the CHL, the Portland Winterhawks.

“What we’ve done is we’ve proven to ourselves that we can play with the top teams in the league, now we have to make sure that we do it every night.” – Head Coach Dave Lowry
Axel Blomqvist scores his 17th of the year on Cooke

Saturday, Rockets forward Myles Bell scored twice in the first erasing a 1-0 deficit, as Kelowna held period leads of 3-1 and 4-2.

“We have to learn how to close out, you win Friday - we have to find a way to win the next night.  That’s part of the process…” said Lowry on settling for the split.

Gagnon fought Rigby
After their sixth meeting of the season Victoria now has a record of 3-2-0-1 against the top team in the league, and will meet next February 8th in Kelowna.

The Royals had a great start with a 5-1 shot advantage and led 1-0 on Ben Walker’s 19th of the year less than 2 minutes in.  Bell scored twice in 3:17, and Mitchell Wheaton just :28 seconds after that both during 4 on 4 hockey.

“We had a 4 on 4, make a couple mistakes and you’re pulling the puck out of the net.  We made a couple mental mistakes and when you’re playing the top team in the country you can’t do that…” said Lowry

Magee scores short handed
Up 3-1 in the second, Rockets Rourke Chartier (1g 1a) sniped just 98 seconds in, ending Patrik Polivka’s night.  Polivka allowed 4 goals on 12 shots.  Axel Blomqvist cut the lead in half to 4-2 before the second was out.

Brandon Magee’s shorthanded breakaway goal in the third brought Victoria to within one, but Marek Tvrdon first of the season in his second game with Kelowna, added some insurance making it 5-3.

Jordan Cooke earned his 27th win with 27 saves, and Coleman Vollrath stopped 20 of 21 in relief.

Neither team could score on the power play, the Royals went 0 for 4, while the Rockets were 0 for 5.
Ben Walker opens the scoring

Ben Walker had a goal and assist as did Chartier for Kelowna.  Madison Bowey had two helpers for the Rockets who've played 16 of their last 18 on the road, earning their 22nd win away from Prospera Place. 

The Royals suffer just their 10th home loss of the season (16-10-0-1) in front of 5,871 on Defense Team Appreciation Night.

Victoria wraps up their 5 game homestand (2-2) with a visit from Medicine Hat on Tuesday.

-Marlon Martens

Kelowna Rockets 5 at Victoria Royals 3 - Status: Final
Saturday, January 18, 2014 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Kelowna 3 1 1 - 5
Victoria 1 1 1 - 3

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Walker 19 (Gagnon, Nelson), 1:50.
2, Kelowna, Bell 26 (Severson), 11:22.
3, Kelowna, Bell 27 (Bowey), 14:39.
4, Kelowna, Wheaton 4 (Chartier, Heffley), 15:07.

Penalties-Merkley Kel (inter. on goaltender), 2:53; Stadel Kel (major-fighting), 10:19; Walker Vic (major-fighting), 10:19; Cote Vic (interference), 13:09; Olsen Kel (slashing), 14:14; Carroll Vic (boarding), 15:20; Heffley Kel (checking from behind), 17:39; Baillie Kel (roughing), 20:00; Heffley Kel (roughing), 20:00; Brown Vic (roughing), 20:00; Magee Vic (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period-
5, Kelowna, Chartier 13 (Bowey), 1:38.
6, Victoria, Blomqvist 17 (Walker, Carroll), 12:28.

Penalties-Rigby Kel (major-fighting), 12:42; Gagnon Vic (major-fighting), 12:42; Baillie Kel (hooking), 18:52.

3rd Period-
7, Victoria, Magee 15   6:36 (SH).
8, Kelowna, Tvrdon 1 (Merkley), 9:13.

Penalties-Brown Vic (kneeing), 4:45; Kanzig Vic (roughing), 14:45; Carroll Vic (major-fighting, game misconduct), 18:17; Magee Vic (slashing), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-
Kelowna 10-11-12-33.
Victoria 7-15-8-30.

Power Play Opportunities-
Kelowna 0 / 5;
Victoria 0 / 4.

Kelowna, Cooke 27-3-0-2 (30 shots-27 saves).
Victoria, Polivka 19-11-0-1 (12 shots-8 saves);
Vollrath 11-5-0-1 (21 shots-20 saves).

Referees-Mike Campbell (89), Jeff Ingram (82).
Linesmen-Ryan Gibbons (73), Bevan Mills (98).