Saturday, 28 November 2015

Recap: KEL 1 - VIC 5

The Victoria Royals (17-8-1-1, 36pts) scored four power play goals to defeat the visiting Kelowna Rockets 5-1 Saturday night and earned a split of the two game set after falling 3-1 one night earlier.

“We knew that was the difference last night,” said Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry about the power play, after going 0 for 6 in Friday’s loss,

“It took away an opportunity for us to win a hockey game.  We knew we had to be better, and our preparation had to be better.”

Victoria led 1-0 after 20 minutes, and 3-0 after 40, before adding a pair in the third.

The Royals moved 3 points back of the top seeded Rocket (19-6-1-0, 39pts) club who had their 5 game win streak snapped, and a stretch of points in 11 straight.  It was Kelowna’s first regulation loss since October 30th.

Matthew Phillips led the charge with a 4 point night with a goal and 3 assists.  Phillips sits 4th in rookie scoring with 27 points, 3 back of Noah Gregor for the league lead.

“I’m just trying to come in every day and work hard,” said the 17 year old Phillips,

“The team's playing really well, and it’s a lot of fun to be here – I just trying to keep it going.”

Phillips leads all newcomers in goals with 14, and ties Dante Hannoun for the team lead in snipes.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” said Lowry about Phillips,

“He’s a very talented player, he wants the puck on his stick…he can make guys better.”

Jack Walker had 3 helpers as well, while Alex Forsberg and Joe Hicketts had a goal and an assist each.  Victoria also got goals from Tyler Soy and Regan Nagy.

Hicketts continues to lead all defenseman in the WHL in scoring with 28 points, including the most assists with 26.

The Rockets lone goal came off the stick of Cole Linaker, while the leagues point leader Tyson Baillie picked up an assist for his 45th point.

The Royals were 4 for 8 on the power play.

“We kept pucks moving, we hit holes, we attacked and the guys were rewarded for it.” Said Lowry about the man advantage success.

The Rockets went 0 for 3 with their power play chances.

“I thought our discipline was key tonight, we didn’t deviate from how we have to play, we were able to initiate and able to give ourselves a chance.”

Kelowna had a 5 on 3 for 1:41 in the third, which Victoria critically killed off.

“Our guys did a really good job,” said Lowry on the big kill,

They played tight, made it hard to get pucks in and didn’t give up any second chances.  At that point, it kind of sealed the victory for us, we just had to close it out.”

Victoria out shot the opposition for a second straight night, 27-15 as Coleman Vollrath earned his 14th win of the season.  Jackson Whistle who was the games first star Friday, backed up former Royal Michael Herringer who allowed 5 goals in the loss.  Vollrath ties Whistle for most wins by a netminder in the league at 14 a piece.

The Royals now lead the season series 2 games to 1 and will next meet on January 2nd at Prospera Place.

- Marlon Martens

Kelowna Rockets 1 at Victoria Royals 5 - Status: Final
Saturday, November 28, 2015 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Kelowna 0 0 1 - 1
Victoria 1 2 2 - 5

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Nagy 4   1:14.

Penalties-Thurkauf Kel (tripping), 11:24; Wishnowski Kel (roughing), 16:58.

2nd Period-
2, Victoria, Phillips 14 (Hicketts, Walker), 1:37 (PP).
3, Victoria, Soy 12 (Phillips, Forsberg), 15:46 (PP).

Penalties-Thurkauf Kel (roughing), 0:46; Southam Kel (slashing), 2:23; Nagy Vic (holding), 2:23; Wishnowski Kel (elbowing), 4:58; Nagy Vic (tripping), 9:16; Stephens Kel (hooking), 15:12; Linaker Kel (tripping), 18:51.

3rd Period-
4, Victoria, Forsberg 9 (Phillips, Walker), 0:22 (PP).
5, Kelowna, Linaker 9 (Smart, Baillie), 1:05.
6, Victoria, Hicketts 2 (Phillips, Walker), 16:59 (PP).

Penalties-Walker Vic (holding), 12:14; Nagy Vic (hooking), 12:33; Kirkland Kel (interference), 15:59; Southam Kel (10-minute misconduct), 16:59; Soustal Kel (charging), 18:25.

Shots on Goal-
Kelowna 4-5-6-15.
Victoria 7-11-9-27.

Power Play Opportunities-
Kelowna 0 / 3;
Victoria 4 / 8.

Kelowna, Herringer 5-3-0-0 (27 shots-22 saves).
Victoria, Vollrath 14-7-0-1 (15 shots-14 saves).

Referees-Steve Papp (17), Derek Zalaski (8).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76).