“Tonight we didn’t have enough guys ready to go at the start of the game,” said Royals Head Dave Lowry,
“…and when you’re playing against the top team, and if you don’t have everyone - you don’t have a chance.”
The Rockets struck a minute into the game and led 2-0 after 20 minutes, then added a pair :52 seconds apart to go up 4-0, eventually taking a 5-1 lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes.
Both clubs struck twice in the final frame for the 7-3 final.
“It’s tough…” said Carroll, “We’ve been playing well since Christmas, and high hopes for today and this is a team that we have to beat to make a big push in the playoffs. We got down early and never really got to fight back…”
Victoria had their 4 game win streak snapped, and fall to 1 and 3 in the eight game season series against Kelowna. The two will meet for 3 straight games next weekend, beginning with a pair on the Island Friday and Saturday.
Leon Draisaitl and Madison Bowey had 3 assists each, while Cole Martin and Cole Linaker had two goals a piece for Kelowna. Rodney Southam (1g 1a), Gage Quinney and Riley Stadel (1g 1a) also scored while Nick Merkley chipped in with a pair of helpers.
Victoria’s Tyler Soy sccored his 21st of the year on the power play, while Austin Carroll notched his 30th and Dante Hannoun rounded out the scoring for Victoria. Carroll fought Riley Southam in the final minute of the game.
Hicketts extended his assist streak to 7 games, with 7 helpers in that span.
The Royals went 1 for 3 on the power play, while the Rockets were 2 for 3 - both scored by Linaker. Victoria did not allowe Kelowna a man advantage in the 1st or 3rd periods.
Justin Paulic stopped 11 of 15 before being replaced mid way through the second by Coleman Vollrath who made 7 saves on 10 attempts in relief. Former Victoria netminder Michael Herringer made 22 stops for the win, as both clubs registered 25 shots on goal.
Victoria continues their three game in three night excursion in Kamloops Saturday night to face a team battling for a playoff spot. The Blazers have won 2 in a row and hold down the final playoff spot by 1 point over the Giants. The Cougars are just 2 back in a tight race for 3rd in the BC Division.
Sunday the Royals wrap up the trek with a 5pm start in Kent Washington against the Thunderbirds.
- Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 3 at Kelowna Rockets 7 - Status: Final
Friday, February 13, 2015 - Prospera Place - Kelowna, BC
Victoria 0 1 2 - 3
Kelowna 2 3 2 - 7
1, Kelowna, Southam 8 (Morrissey, Draisaitl), 1:08.
2, Kelowna, Quinney 14 (Stadel, Gatenby), 5:38.
Penalties-Brown Vic (cross checking), 5:38; Stadel Kel (roughing), 5:38; Merkley Kel (high sticking), 7:28; Forsberg Vic (slashing), 19:56; Morrissey Kel (slashing), 19:56.
3, Kelowna, Linaker 11 (Bowey, Draisaitl), 3:21 (PP).
4, Kelowna, Stadel 8 (Bowey), 4:13.
5, Kelowna, Linaker 12 (Merkley, Bowey), 12:49 (PP).
6, Victoria, Soy 21 (Hicketts, Chase), 15:35 (PP).
Penalties-Magee Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 1:38; Forsberg Vic (slashing), 12:02; Martin Kel (high sticking), 14:43; Carroll Vic (roughing), 16:43; Bowey Kel (elbowing), 17:23.
7, Victoria, Carroll 30 (Magee, Forsberg), 3:32.
8, Kelowna, Martin 4 (Southam, Draisaitl), 4:11.
9, Kelowna, Martin 5 (Merkley, Chartier), 9:56.
10, Victoria, Hannoun 3 (Sleptsov, Carroll), 16:27.
Penalties-Fushimi Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 4:11; Morrissey Kel (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 4:11; Carroll Vic (high sticking, major-fighting), 18:55; Magee Vic (10-minute misconduct), 18:55; Southam Kel (instigator, major-fighting, game misconduct), 18:55.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 3; Kelowna 2 / 3.
Victoria, Paulic 11-10-1-1 (15 shots-11 saves); Vollrath 22-12-3-1 (10 shots-7 saves). Kelowna, Herringer 6-1-0-0 (25 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Mike Langin (67), Colin Watt (72).