Pregame show on The Zone @ 91.3fm at 6:40.
The teams split the season series last year (2-2).
The Royals are 2nd, in the BC Division, while the Thunderbirds are 5th in the US, with 6 points separating.
The two clubs are each looking to snap two game losing skids, while both missing key defenseman who made the first round of cuts at Team Canada’s World Junior Selection camp. Joe Hicketts for Victoria, and Shea Theodore, the Anaheim Ducks 26th overall selection in 2013, for Seattle.
[Theodore, suffered an elbow injury at the training camp of the Anaheim Ducks in September. He was assigned to the AHL Norfolk Admirals on October 29 by the Ducks, playing in 5 games and had 3 goals and 2 assists.]
Both of the Thunderbirds import players are off to represent their countries on the international stage, Florian Baltram from Austria, and Alexander True from Denmark.
Seattle is also without 2012, 1st overall bantam selection Matthew Barzal, and will be for another month with a lower body injury.
Victoria is coming off a 4-0 loss in Vancouver Saturday night, dropping the home and home set with the Giants. They were outshot 51-27 at the Coliseum, while Vancouver got 3 of their goals with the man advantage, and 3 the night before. The Giants now have the longest win streak in the league at 6 games and have clawed back into a tie with Seattle for 9th in the West.
Interim Head Coach Enio Sacilotto is behind the bench while Head Coach Dave Lowry is serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the World Juniors.
[Sacilotto brings over 30 years of world wide coaching experience to the organization, including being named the BCHL Coach of the Year with the Penticton Vees in 94-95. He also led Lugano to the Gold Medal in the Swiss National League A for the 1998-99 season.]
Victoria is in the middle of a 3 game road trip which concludes in Everett Wednesday, their final game before the Christmas Break.
Seattle fell 2-1 at home to Portland Saturday, after getting blanked 4-0 in Tri City Friday.
The T-birds are 3 games under .500 at home, (5-8-1-2), while the Royals are (7-11) on the road.
While Seattle has only scored the 2nd fewest goals on average per game in the league, they are quite stingy, allowing the 4th fewest goals against.
Netminder Taran Kozun leads the WHL in goals against (2.18), with the 4th best save perctage (0.920). Kozun has allowed two goals or less in 9 of the last 10 games.
The T-Birds have 10 players currently on the roster who were born in 1997.
Seattle is led in scoring by Ryan Gropp who has 27 points in 32 games, including a team best 13 goals by the 18 year old. He’s draft eligible and is ‘B’ rated for the upcoming draft by NHL’s Central Scouting.
Victoria is led by Austin Carroll and Joe Hicketts, both with 38 points. Carroll has a team leading 20 goals, while Hicketts has 30 helpers.
Travis Brown leads all defenseman in goals with 12, including 8 on the power play.
Victoria will return home after the break to face the Prince George Cougars on Saturday, December 27th for Black Press Card Night and Sunday, December 28th for a skate with the players.
- Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals (NHL Camp Attendees - 6)
Axel Blomqvist, Winnipeg Jets, F/A, YES
Travis Brown, Ottawa Senators, F/A (Chicago 2012), No
Austin Carroll, Calgary Flames, 2014, No
Joe Hicketts, Detroit Red Wings, F/A, YES
Greg Chase, Edmonton Oilers, 2013, YES
Brandon Magee, Calgary Flames, F/A, No
Seattle Thunderbirds NHL Camp Attendees (3)
Justin Hickman, Winnipeg Jets, F/A, No
Shea Theodore, Anaheim Ducks, 2013, YES
Evan Wardley, Montreal Canadiens, F/A, No
NHL Central Scouting November 2014 Rankings
C REDDEKOPP, CHAZ VICTORIA WHL 6'3.25" 219 D
C SMITH, EVAN VICTORIA WHL 6'6.25" 174 G
C SOY, TYLER VICTORIA WHL 5'11.5" 172 C
A BARZAL, MATHEW SEATTLE WHL 5'11.25" 175 C
B GROPP, RYAN SEATTLE WHL 6'2.0" 184 LW
B KOLESAR, KEEGAN SEATTLE WHL 6'1.25" 217 RW
C BEAR, ETHAN SEATTLE WHL 5'11.0" 200 D
Victoria Royals vs Seattle Thunderbirds: Head To Head Stats Summary
How the 2 teams match up
|Head to Head Record 2014-15 Regular Season||Victoria 0-0-0-0||Seattle 0-0-0-0|
|Head to Head Record 2013-14 Regular Season||Victoria 2-2-0-0||Seattle 2-1-1-0|
|Last 5 Years record between teams||Victoria 8-4-1-3||Seattle 8-6-2-0|
|Victoria vs. Seattle Last 5 Years record at Victoria||Victoria 5-2-0-1||Seattle 3-3-2-0|
|Victoria vs. Seattle Last 5 Years record at Seattle||Victoria 3-2-1-2||Seattle 5-3-0-0|
How the 2 teams match up
|Team Record||13-15-2-2 -- 30 points||17-16-2-0 -- 36 points|
|Division Ranking||5th U.S.||2nd B.C.|
|Conference Ranking||9th Western||4th Western|
|Past 10 Games||4-5-0-1||5-5-0-0|
|Last Game||2-1 L vs Portland (Dec 13 2014) Final||4-0 L @ Vancouver (Dec 13 2014) Final|
|PP (Overall)||(22/120) 18.3||(34/153) 22.2|
|PP (Home)||(13/58) 22.4||(18/63) 28.6|
|PP (Away)||(9/62) 14.5||(16/90) 17.8|
|PK (Overall)||(28/131) 78.6||(36/150) 76.0|
|PK (Home)||(17/73) 76.7||(13/62) 79.0|
|PK (Away)||(11/58) 81.0||(23/88) 73.9|
|Leading Rookie||True (5-5-10)||Nagy (3-5-8)|
|Most PIM||Hauf - 60||Crunk - 62|
|Leading Scorers||Gropp (13-14-27)||Carroll (20-18-38)|
|Hickman (7-14-21)||Hicketts (8-30-38)|
|Kolesar (10-9-19)||Magee (10-19-29)|
|Barzal (7-11-18)||Blomqvist (14-13-27)|
|Bear (7-9-16)||Brown (12-15-27)|
|Last 5 Games||2-1 L vs Portland (Dec 13 2014) Final||4-0 L @ Vancouver (Dec 13 2014) Final|
|4-0 L @ Tri-City (Dec 12 2014) Final||6-3 L vs Vancouver (Dec 12 2014) Final|
|4-1 W @ Spokane (Dec 7 2014) Final||1-0 W vs Prince Albert (Dec 9 2014) Final|
|5-3 L vs Medicine Hat (Dec 6 2014) Final||6-3 W vs Saskatoon (Dec 5 2014) Final|
|3-1 W vs Tri-City (Dec 5 2014) Final||6-4 L vs Portland (Dec 2 2014) Final|
|Leading After 1st||7-2-1-1||8-2-0-0|
|Leading After 2nd||9-2-1-0||10-1-0-0|
|Tied After 1st||3-4-1-0||5-4-0-0|
|Tied After 2nd||2-2-1-2||3-1-1-0|
|Trailing After 1st||3-9-0-1||4-10-2-0|
|Trailing After 2nd||2-11-0-0||4-14-1-0|
|Out Shooting Opponents||9-8-0-1||10-5-1-0|
|Out Shot by Opponents||3-7-1-1||6-10-1-0|