Friday, 28 March 2014

Recap Game 4: VIC 4 - SPK 2

The visiting Victoria Royals swept the Spokane Chiefs, to win the franchise’s first playoff series after a 4-2 victory Thursday night.

“I think it’s a great accomplishment, I really liked the way our team played and I’m happy for our (players), they’ve competed hard…It’s nice to see them rewarded.”
– Head Coach Dave Lowry

Victoria won the first two games in overtime by 2-1 and 4-3 scores at home, then in Spokane by 6-1 and 4-2 margins.
Austin Carroll scores the game winner

“We got out of a couple games in our building, found a way to win, and when we came in here for game 3 we  were outstanding, and tonight we played a really good road game…

The Royals shut down the leagues regular season leading scorer Mitch Holmberg and teammate Mike Aviani, among the keys to winning the series according to Lowry,

“Goaltending was good, I thought our penalty kill was outstanding, the job that Crunk did on Holmberg and Fisher on Aviani that they ended up breaking them up.  We had guys that counted on to score, but we also had guys that were really responsible against their top players.”

Thursday night four Royals had two point nights, and Patrik Polivka made 32 saves in the 4-2 series clinching victory.
Team Photo post win

“It’s really exciting, all guys were really into this, to get into the second round.” Said Steven Hodges who fell to the Chiefs in 5 games in 2011.

“Spokane really played a hard game against us, they came out guns a blazin’ every game and really made us battle for this.  We’re just happy with the win and we’re excited with whomever we face in the next round.”

Austin Carroll broke a 2-2 third period tie at the midway point, before Logan Nelson added some insurance with under 5 minutes to go.
Logan Nelson's 4-2 goal

Neither team could score on the power play, with Victoria going 0 for 4, and shutting down all 3 Spokane man advantages, including a 5 on 3 at the start of the third.

Polivka was brilliant, weathering an early storm when the Royals were outshot 8-1 in the first half of the first.  He stoned Holmberg on the power play, and did not allow the 62 goal man a single goal in the four games, ending with a single assist.  Aviani had 2 helpers total.

Polivka won 4 straight
“It’s awesome, we didn’t expect the sweep, no one did…it feels great.” Said Polivka

“It’s something special for the first time (franchise series win), but I think we want to go farther…”

Eric Williams suffered the defeat as the Chiefs outshot the Royals for the first time in the series 34-21.

Jordan Fransoo opened the scoring with a point drive in the first, rookie defenseman Tyson Helgeson scored his first to tie in the final minute, but Ben Walker responded just :20 seconds later to put Victoria back on top 2-1.

Ben Walker celebrates
There was no scoring in the second frame.  Connor Chartier tipped a shot past Polivka to pull even in the third before the Royals pulled away.

Logan Nelson, Jordan Fransoo and Austin Carroll had a goal and assist each, while Steven Hodges chipped in with a pair of assists. 

The club returns home to await their second round opponent, yet to be determined as the teams reseed in round two.
Polivka was dominant

Nelson knocks Bobyk over the boards

Hodges had 2 assists

Ben Walker shot attempt

Blomqvist sends Chartier flying

Chiefs tie the game in the third

Nelson fires a sho

Nelson would score to make it 4-2

Chiefs salute crowd

Nelson celebrates

-Marlon Martens

Victoria Royals 4 at Spokane Chiefs 2 - Status: End of Game
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena

Victoria 2 0 2 - 4
Spokane 1 0 1 - 2

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Fransoo 2 (Cote, Hodges), 14:48.
2, Spokane, Helgesen 1 (Whittingham, Messier), 19:02.
3, Victoria, Walker 3 (Magee, Fransoo), 19:22.

Penalties-Kanzig Vic (hooking), 3:09; Helewka Spo (charging), 10:16; Holmberg Spo (cross checking), 12:28.

2nd Period-
No Scoring.Penalties-Wedman Spo (checking from behind), 5:32; Proft Spo (slashing), 17:11; Walker Vic (slashing), 18:40.

3rd Period-
4, Spokane, Chartier 1 (Helgesen, Aviani), 3:32.
5, Victoria, Carroll 3 (Gagnon, Nelson), 10:06.
6, Victoria, Nelson 3 (Hodges, Carroll), 15:41.

Penalties-Fisher Vic (hooking), 0:15.

Shots on Goal-
Victoria 9-7-5-21.
Spokane 11-7-16-34.

Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 4;
Spokane 0 / 3.

Victoria, Polivka 4-0-0-0 (34 shots-32 saves).
Spokane, Williams 0-2-2-0 (21 shots-17 saves).

Referees-Derek Zalaski (8), Brett Iverson (24).
Linesmen-Jeremi Del Campo (44), Jason Michelbook (112).