Saturday, 11 January 2014

Recap: POR 2 - VIC 1

Vollrath stopped Leipsic on a penalty shot in a 2-1 Royals loss
The Victoria Royals (29-15-0-2, 60pts) settled for a weekend split against the visiting Portland Winterhawks (27-12-2-3, 59pts), falling 2-1 Saturday night.
Hodges crashes the net

Oliver Bjorkstrand (28th) broke a 1-1 third period tie, scoring the eventual game winner on the power play with 5 minutes remaining.

“…We knew that we hadn’t played as good as we good as we would have liked to for 40 minutes, but we were still in a hockey game.  To our guys credit we found a way to tie the score up, and then we gave it away late.” – Head Coach Dave Lowry

The Royals won 3-2 in shoot out the night before, and take the season series 3-1.  Victoria wraps up 3 consecutive games against Portland, having won the first two.
Fushimi screens on Fransoo's Goal

Down by a goal heading into the final frame, Captain Jordan Fransoo notched his first of the year on the power play to even the score, as Victoria was looking for back to back come from behind victories.

The Royals took a late penalty and the Winterhawks rode out the 2-1 win.

There’s times in a game you have to play smart.”  Said Lowry on giving up the late power play, “We like to pride ourseleves in being a heavy team, a physical team and disciplined team.  You have to sometimes pull back a little, and not put the opportunity back in somebody else’s hands especially when we had a power play that generated the tying goal.”

The loss snapped Victoria’s 2 game winning streak, both against Portland.  The Royals had just one regulation loss in their last 11 coming in against the #7 ranked team in the CHL.

Brendan Leipsic was the number one star with a goal and assist, as he opened the scoring early in the first period.

Coleman Vollrath made 33 saves in the defeat, but put out some outstanding numbers against the second most offensive group in the league.  Vollrath stopped 149 shots on 157 Winterhawks shots over the course of their four meetings this season for a save percentage of 0.949.  He made 38 saves Friday night in the win.

Saturday Vollrath stopped Leipsic on a penalty shot, and Dominic Turgeon on a shorthanded breakaway both in the first period.

Brendan Burke returned to the net for Portland after recovering from a lower body injury and made 23 saves for his 23 victory of the year.

Both clubs struck on the power play, the Royals 1 for 5 both nights, while the 'Hawks went 1 for 4 Saturday, and 3 for 9 in the weekend set.

Victoria had a two man advantage when down by a goal in the middle frame for 1:42, and the inability to strike proved detrimental according to Lowry.

“I thought the turning point was our 5 on 3, we had an opportunity to even the game but we didn’t generate any offense, we didn’t execute.  When you have an opportunity against a team like Portland, it doesn’t present itself very often and we have to be better…”

The Royals had their 4 game home win streak stopped, having won 8 of their last 10 at the Save On Foods Memorial Centre.

Victoria’s 5 game homestand continues next weekend with a pair against the #1 ranked team in the CHL, the Kelowna Rockets, and wraps up with a visit from Medicine Hat the following Tuesday.

- Marlon Martens

Portland Winterhawks 2 at Victoria Royals 1 - Status: Final
Saturday, January 11, 2014 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Portland 1 0 1 - 2
Victoria 0 0 1 - 1

1st Period-
1, Portland, Leipsic 23 (Hanson, Petan), 2:46.

Penalties-Burke Por (tripping), 4:53; Reddekopp Vic (hooking), 8:37; Price Por (high sticking), 17:12.

2nd Period-
No Scoring.Penalties-

Pouliot Por (hooking), 6:03; Hanson Por (delay of game), 6:21.

3rd Period-
2, Victoria, Fransoo 1 (Blomqvist, Walker), 12:49 (PP).
3, Portland, Bjorkstrand 28 (Pouliot, Leipsic), 15:00 (PP).

Penalties-Hodges Vic (hooking), 3:35; Petan Por (hooking), 12:23; Carroll Vic (roughing), 14:03; served by Walker Vic (too many men), 18:15.

Shots on Goal-
Portland 13-11-11-35.
Victoria 12-5-7-24.

Power Play Opportunities-
Portland 1 / 4;
Victoria 1 / 5.

Portland, Burke 23-10-2-2 (24 shots-23 saves).
Victoria, Vollrath 11-5-0-1 (35 shots-33 saves).

Referees-Brett Iverson (24), Mark Pearce (5).
Linesmen-Tim Digby (75), Jacob Hill (122).