Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Preview: Victoria at Brandon, Wed Feb.19.2014

Jordan Fransoo and Jack Palmer face their former squad as the Victoria Royals (41-16-1-3, 86pts) visit the Brandon Wheat Kings (28-24-6-2, 64pts) in their only meeting of the season Wednesday night.

Pregame show at 4:45 PST on The Zone @ 91.3fm.

“We’ll be a team with a little more desperation in our game...” said Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry who's club is ranked 10th in the CHL Top 10.

“…We’re seeing teams that are ready, seeing teams playing their best hockey, and no longer can we sneak in under the radar and start a game.  Everybody is prepared for us now, and that is a credit to our guys for their success that we’ve had so far this year.”

Last season, the Royals edged the visiting Wheat Kings 4-3 in overtime as Alex Gogolev provided the heroics.  Victoria’s last visit to Brandon was successful as well back on January 14, 2012, as Ben Walker scored the shoot out winner in a 4-3 victory.

Victoria is 3rd in the West, riding a 6 game win streak collecting points in 13 straight games (11-0-1-1) after a 4-3 shoot out victory in Moose Jaw Monday.
Hicketts shot eludes Sawchenko, Credit: Quigley

Jack Walker scored the shoot out winner, Travis Brown (2a) and Joe Hicketts (1g 1a) had 2 point games, while Patrik Polivka made 31 saves for his 21st win.

The Royals also got goals from Austin Carroll, and Axel Blomqvist, as the club came from behind for their first win in Moose Jaw since the franchise relocated.

Victoria is 2-0 on the Eastern swing, and have won 8 consecutive on the road, a franchise best improving to (21-7-0-1) record off the Island.

The club continues to set franchise records, including 41 wins and 86 points.

Brandon is 7th in the Eastern Conference - 4 up on eighth place Red Deer.  The Wheat Kings’ winless streak hit 6 games (0-4-1-1) after a 4-0 loss to the Regina Pats Monday.

Carroll scores at MJ, Credit: Quigley
Brandon went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, leaving the Wheat Kings 1-for-25 in the last 6 games – a stretch that has seen Brandon score just 7 times overall.

Brandon’s power-play has been one of the best in the WHL through the 2013-2014 season, and enter Wednesday’s game ranked 4th in the WHL.  The penalty-kill is ranked 17th but are an impressive 25-for-30 (83.3%) over the Wheaties last 9 games.

It’s the first game of a four-game home stand for Brandon, with the Wheat Kings also set to host Calgary on Friday, Moose Jaw on Saturday and Lethbridge next Wednesday.

Brandon still has 8 of 12 remaining games on home ice where they are an impressive 9 games over .500 (17-8-2-1).

The Wheat Kings boast the 5th most offensive club in the league, with 7 players at 43 or more points.

However, Brandon remains without 5 regulars including their top 2 scorers, Jayce Hawryluk (lower body), who leads the way with 50.  John Quenneville (upper body) is 2nd with 47.  Rihards Bukarts (upper body) with 43 points is also out while defenseman Rene Hunter (upper body) was scratched following warmup Monday.  Defenseman Colton Waltz will sit due to suspension.

Defenseman Ryan Pulock (15th overall NYI) is 12th among defencemen in scoring with 46 points.  Pulock is second among blueliners with 17 goals including a league-high ten power-play goals.

After Brandon Wednesday, Victoria faces Regina Friday and Saskatoon Saturday to wrap up 5 games in 8 days, an 11 day round trip.

-Marlon Martens

Victoria Royals vs Brandon Wheat Kings: Head To Head Stats

Head to Head Record 2013-14 Regular Season Victoria 0-0-0-0Brandon 0-0-0-0
Head to Head Record 2012-13 Regular Season Victoria 1-0-0-0Brandon 0-0-1-0
Last 5 Years record between teams Victoria 3-1-0-0Brandon 1-1-1-1
Victoria vs. Brandon Last 5 Years record at Victoria Victoria 2-0-0-0Brandon 0-1-1-0
Victoria vs. Brandon Last 5 Years record at Brandon Victoria 1-1-0-0Brandon 1-0-0-1
How the 2 teams match up
Team Record 28-24-6-2 -- 64 points 41-16-1-3 -- 86 points
Division Ranking 3rd East 2nd B.C.
Conference Ranking 7th Eastern 3rd Western
League Ranking 14th 5th
Past 10 Games 2-6-1-1 8-0-1-1
Streak 0-4-1-1 11-0-1-1
Last Game 4-0 L @ Regina (Feb 17 2014) Final 4-3 W @ Moose Jaw (Feb 17 2014) Final SO
Home Record 17-8-2-1 20-10-1-2
Away Record 11-16-4-1 21-6-0-1
GF 216  200 
GA 219  152 
PP (Overall) (62/259) 23.9 (56/262) 21.4
PP (Home) (36/125) 28.8 (31/148) 20.9
PP (Away) (26/134) 19.4 (25/114) 21.9
PK (Overall) (51/208) 75.5 (45/251) 82.1
PK (Home) (18/87) 79.3 (27/138) 80.4
PK (Away) (33/121) 72.7 (18/113) 84.1
Leading Rookie Quenneville (16-29-45) Soy (11-13-24)
Most PIM Nejezchleb - 67 Carroll - 99
Team PIM/GM 12.3/Game 14.2/Game
Leading Scorers Hawryluk (17-33-50) Magee (21-33-54)
Quenneville (22-25-47) Brown (12-38-50)
Pulock (17-30-47) Blomqvist (20-29-49)
Nejezchleb (29-17-46) Carroll (30-18-48)
Quenneville (16-29-45) Walker (23-22-45)
Last 5 Games 4-0 L @ Regina (Feb 17 2014) Final 4-3 W @ Moose Jaw (Feb 17 2014) Final SO
5-2 L vs Kootenay (Feb 15 2014) Final 5-4 W @ Prince Albert (Feb 15 2014) Final
3-2 L vs Kootenay (Feb 14 2014) Final SO 3-2 W vs Tri-City (Feb 12 2014) Final OT
3-2 L @ Lethbridge (Feb 12 2014) Final OT 3-2 W @ Vancouver (Feb 10 2014) Final
6-1 L @ Medicine Hat (Feb 11 2014) Final 6-4 W @ Kelowna (Feb 8 2014) Final
Leading After 1st 15-3-2-0 22-1-1-1
Leading After 2nd 19-0-4-1 27-0-1-1
Tied After 1st 8-7-2-1 13-2-0-0
Tied After 2nd 5-2-1-0 9-0-0-1
Trailing After 1st 5-14-2-1 6-13-0-2
Trailing After 2nd 4-22-1-1 5-16-0-1
Out Shooting Opponents 17-8-2-1 15-5-1-2
Out Shot by Opponents 10-15-4-1 23-11-0-1
1-Goal Games 10-3-6-2 19-5-1-3
2-Goal Games 3-7-0-0 10-5-0-0
3-Goal Games 10-8-0-0 5-3-0-0