Sunday, 30 September 2012

Recap: KAM 3 - VIC 0

The Kamloops Blazers (3-0-0-1) scored once each period, while Cole Cheveldave stopped all 22 shots for a 3-0 shut out victory over the Victoria Royals (3-1) on the Island Sunday afternoon.

“They came out strong, came out well, and we didn’t seem to have the legs to match it.”  said Royals assistant Coach Geoff Grimwood.

The Blazers earned a split after the Royals edged them 4-3 in a shoot out Friday night.  They’ll meet again in the interior October 10th.

Kamloops out shot Victoria 39 –22 as Jared Rathjen was busy making 36 saves in his regular season debut. “I thought he was very good, basically held them to two goals through most of the game…they have a pretty high powered offense, so I thought it was a commendable effort on his part.” praised Grimwood.

Brady Gaudet scored in the first, Rob Trzonkowski on a breakaway in the second and Colorado Avalanche draft pick forward Colin Smith rounded out the scoring in the third.

Both teams power play went 0 for 5.

Grimwood did find some positives to take from the loss, “We started the game with a very physical strong forecheck, and it was something we maybe couldn’t continue over sixty minutes, but a good element to our game that I liked for sure.”

Victoria had overage defenseman Tyler Stahl back in the line up after serving a 6 game suspension, but were without Florida draft pick, forward Steven Hodges who is listed day to day with a lower body injury.

The loss ends their three game win streak to start the season, the longest ever in the franchise’s seven year history.

The Royals wrap up a 4 game homestand against the 3-1 Tigers from Medicine Hat on Wednesday, who boast 49 goal man Hunter Shinkaruk and are riding a 3 game win streak.

“We just have to get back to our style of hockey,” said Grimwood on their next game, “Any time you have a loss like this you want to rebound and it’s nice we don’t have to wait a whole week to do it…should be a good opportunity to bounce back.”

Kamloops Blazers 3 at Victoria Royals 0 - Status: Final
Sunday, September 30, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Kamloops 1 1 1 - 3
Victoria 0 0 0 - 0

1st Period-
1, Kamloops, Gaudet 1 (Souto, Needham), 15:38.

Penalties-Gogolev Vic (hooking), 0:58; Ully Kam (roughing), 2:51; Walker Vic (tripping), 7:26; Gaudet Kam (hooking), 17:18; Nelson Vic (interference), 18:17; Thomson Kam (tripping), 18:52; Crooks Vic (tripping), 19:35.

2nd Period-
2, Kamloops, Trzonkowski 1 (Macklin, Cheveldave), 3:38.

Penalties-Stahl Vic (tripping), 1:13; Crunk Vic (inter. on goaltender), 14:01; Smith Kam (roughing), 18:42; Zgraggen Vic (roughing), 18:42.

3rd Period-
3, Kamloops, Smith 2 (Thomson, Lipon), 10:13.

Penalties-Gelsinger Kam (hooking), 6:49; Gaudet Kam (closing hand on puck), 14:31.

Shots on Goal-
Kamloops 16-16-7-39.
Victoria 13-6-3-22.

Power Play Opportunities-
Kamloops 0 / 5;
Victoria 0 / 5.

Kamloops, Cheveldave 1-0-0-0 (22 shots-22 saves).
Victoria, Rathjen 0-1-0-0 (39 shots-36 saves).

Referees-Jason Cramer (57), Sean Raphael (28).
Linesmen-Clayton Richardson (104), Nathan Van Oosten (115).

Friday, 28 September 2012

Recap: VIC 4 - KAM 3 Shoot Out Win

The Victoria Royals (3-0) remained undefeated after a 4-3 shoot out victory over the visiting Kamloops Blazers Friday night in the Capital city.

“Our guys just wanted it, our top two lines really made the difference, you could see their skill and we just seemed to take over the second and third period…guys were doing the work.”  said Royals Assistant Coach Ben Cooper.

Ranked 8th in the CHL, The Blazers drop to 2-0-0-1 and will stay on the Island to face the Royals again Sunday afternoon at 1pm.

Cole Ully’s two first period goals put the Blazers ahead until Brett Cote’s power play marker cut the lead in half in the second.  Logan Nelson and Alex Gogolev put the Royals ahead in the third, but Tim Bozon tied it with 4:25 remaining.

“We just kept pushing and we knew they wouldn’t be able to match us if we kept going at them, so that’s what we did and we had our speed going” said Cooper about the clubs resiliency.

After a scoreless overtime, Logan Nelson (1g 1a) provided the only goal in a three round shoot out.  Brandon Magee and Alex Gogolev were stopped by Taran Kozon, while Patrik Polivka shut the door on Colin Smith, Dylan Willlick, and Cole Ully.

“We just came out in the second and third and tried to win them both, and we took it in a shoot out” said number one star defenseman Brett Cote after trailing 2-0 but outshooting the Blazers 15-6 after 20 minutes.

The Royals peppered Kozun with 37 shots, while Polivka faced 24.

Victoria went 1 for 3 on the power play, while Kamloops went 1 for 2.

Royals rookie forward Brandon Fushimi picked up an assist in his first regular season WHL game, “He did a really good job, and I think based on his play you can probably expect to see him in the line up again.” said Cooper on Fushimi who hails from Thornton Colorado.

Rookie defenseman Jack Walker played his first regular season game with his older brother Ben, a franchise first.

After falling in 4 straight in the first round last year to Kamloops and a pair of preseason losses, Cooper is elated, but not resting, “We’re happy to have this win, but certainly not satisfied.  We want to go 4-0, we want to beat them again, and think we can.”

Defenseman Tyler Stahl is expected back in the line up on Sunday after serving a 6 game suspension.
After the Blazers on Sunday, the Royals wrap up a four game homestand with a tilt with the Tigers from Medicine Hat next Wednesday.

Kamloops Blazers 3 at Victoria Royals 4 (SO) - Status: Final SO
Friday, September 28, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Kamloops 2 0 1 0 - 3
Victoria 0 1 2 0 - 4

1st Period-
1, Kamloops, Ully 1 (Thomson), 8:31. 2, Kamloops, Ully
2 (Gaudet, Needham), 13:05 (PP).

Penalties-Kanzig Vic (interference), 12:12; Hrbas Kam (tripping), 14:05; Rehill Kam (major-fighting), 18:17; Carroll Vic (major-fighting), 18:17.

2nd Period-3, Victoria, Cote 1 (Nelson, Fushimi), 1:57 (PP). Penalties-Smith Kam (tripping), 0:30; Trzonkowski Kam (boarding), 4:38; Dixon Vic (interference), 12:33.

3rd Period-
4, Victoria, Nelson 1 (Fransoo), 5:52.
5, Victoria, Gogolev 2 (Walker), 6:39.
6, Kamloops, Bozon 4 (Smith, Hrbas), 15:35.

Penalties-Trzonkowski Kam (roughing), 4:09; Kanzig Vic (roughing), 4:09; Souto Kam (slashing), 11:54; Zgraggen Vic (roughing), 11:54.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout –
Kamloops 0 (Smith NG, Willick NG, Ully NG),
Victoria 1 (Nelson G, Magee NG, Gogolev NG).

Shots on Goal-
Kamloops 6-7-10-1-0-24.
Victoria 15-12-9-1-1-38.

Power Play Opportunities-
Kamloops 1 / 2; Victoria 1 / 3.

Kamloops, Kozun 2-0-0-1 (37 shots-34 saves).
Victoria, Polivka 3-0-0-0 (24 shots-21 saves).

Referees-Matt Kirk (4), Mark Pearce (5).
Linesmen-Nick Bilko (66), Bevan Mills (98).

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Preview: KAM at VIC, Friday Sept 28th

The Victoria Royals (2-0) entertain the Kamloops Blazers (2-0) for a pair of games Friday night and Sunday afternoon at 1pm.  Pregame show on at 6:45 Friday.

It’s a rematch of last years playoffs for the Royals who look to exact revenge following a first round four game sweep at the hands of the Blazers.  Kamloops went on to fall in seven to the Portland Winterhawks in round 2.

The clubs met twice in the pre season with Kamloops taking both games by scores of 4-2 and 5-3.

The Royals kicked off a four game homestand with a their second consecutive win over the Vancouver Giants 3-2 last Saturday.  Victoria built up a 3-0 lead on goals by Ben Walker, Brandon Magee and Alex Gogolev.  Vancouver added a pair in the third but fell short.  Netminder Patrik Polivka earned his second consecutive victory for the club.

Ranked 8th in the CHL, The Blazers are also 2-0 after back to back wins over the Rockets, the later a 3-2 victory in Kelowna after an overtime win in Kamloops.

After a pair versus Kamloops, Victoria hosts Medicine Hat before heading out on the road for games against Spokane, Tri City, Vancouver and Kamloops.

PP     Kamloops: (4/13) 30.8     Victoria: (3/8) 37.5
PK    Kamloops: (1/6) 83.3         Victoria: (1/7) 85.7

Top Scorers:

Smith (1-4-5)    
Lipon (0-4-4)
Bozon (3-0-3)
Cross (1-2-3)
Needham (2-0-2)

Gogolev (1-4-5)
Hodges (2-1-3)
Magee (2-0-2)
Walker (2-0-2)
Hicketts (1-1-2)

#38 Cole Cheveldave, G, lower body, day to day
#2 Tyler Hansen, D, upper body, day to day

#7 Tyler Stahl, D, 1 game remaining


Kamloops: Tim Bozon (Montreal, 3rd round 2012), Colin Smith (Colorado, 7th round 2012),

Victoria: Steven Hodges (Florida, 3rd round 2012), Logan Nelson (Buffalo, 5th round 2012), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011), D Tyler Stahl (F/A, originally drafted by Carolina, 6th rd 2010). Brandon Magee (Invited to Edmonton Oilers Camp), Austin Carroll (Invited to Phoenix Coyotes camp)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Trade: Dakota Conroy to P.A. for 7th rd in '14

Press Release on Dakota Conroy Trade:

Victoria sends Dakota Conroy to Prince Albert for 2014 seventh round pick.

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals today announced that the team has traded forward Dakota Conroy (1994) to the Prince Albert Raiders in exchange for their 7th round selection in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

Victoria sends Conroy to Prince Albert after the Edmonton, AB native appeared in 30 games for the Royals during the 2011-12 WHL regular season, collecting 10 points (7g-3a) and 15 penalty minutes. Conroy was acquired by the Royals in January of 2012 in a trade with the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The Royals’ next home game is Friday, September 28th when they play host to the Kamloops Blazers. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. Sunday, September 30th will see the Royals host the Blazers again for a 1:00 p.m. start.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Recap: VIC 3 - VAN 2

Alex Gogolev celebrates a 3-2 win with his teammates over Vancouver
The Victoria Royals built up a three nothing third period lead before settling for a 3-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants Saturday night in the Capital City.

Patrik Polivka made 23 stops.
The Royals take both games in the home and home season opener with the Giants, winning 6-4 in Vancouver the night before.

Victoria built up period leads of 1-0 and 3-0 to the delight of the near sell out crowd (6,579).  It was also the second night in a row where the Royals held a three goal advantage just to have the Giants climb to within one.  “We got to learn to play with the lead, but we’ve got to grow through things and I’m just really excited about this time and getting the four big points.’ said Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto.

Logan Nelson had a pair of assists, while the games first star, Alex Gogolev scored the eventual winner.  Brandon Magee and Ben Walker both scored their second markers of the season.

Patrik Polivka earned his second win with a 23 save performance, while Liam Liston allowed 3 goals on 23 shots in his second consecutive loss. 

Sacilotto commented on how the team was able to stave off the Giants late surge, “Patrik (Polivka) got us through it, our Penalty Kill got us through it and Brandon Magee had that big shot block.” 

Victoria struck once of four man advantages, while stopping both Vancouver power plays coming in the third.

The two teams will meet again in Vancouver Sunday October 4th.

The Royals who kicked off a four game homestand, will face the Kamloops Blazers twice this coming week, Friday and Sunday afternoon at 1pm.  Sacilotto knows it’ll be a big test, “I think we have a much better team than we did last year…it’s a long haul, but you can’t take the great start away from us.”

Vancouver Giants 2 at Victoria Royals 3 - Status: Final
Saturday, September 22, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Vancouver 0 0 2 - 2
Victoria 1 2 0 - 3

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Walker 2 (Nelson, Carroll), 7:15.

Penalties-Cooke Van (elbowing), 5:12; Sward Van (roughing), 15:45; Nelson Vic (roughing), 15:45; Musil Van (roughing, roughing), 16:32; Hicketts Vic (roughing, roughing), 16:32.

2nd Period-
2, Victoria, Magee 2 (Crooks), 11:55 (PP).
3, Victoria, Gogolev 1 (Nelson), 12:21.

Penalties-Sward Van (roughing), 4:36; Moar Van (tripping), 11:22.

3rd Period-
4, Vancouver, Burns 2 (Tvrdon, Houck), 10:42.
5, Vancouver, Franson 3 (Houck, Musil), 19:33.

Penalties-Tvrdon Van (interference), 3:30; Nelson Vic (hooking), 8:29; Moar Van (major-fighting), 15:40; Dixon Vic (instigator, major-fighting, game misconduct), 15:40.

Shots on Goal-
Vancouver 4-8-13-25.
Victoria 10-8-5-23.

Power Play Opportunities-
Vancouver 0 / 2; Victoria 1 / 4.

Vancouver, Liston 0-2-0-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
Victoria, Polivka 2-0-0-0 (25 shots-23 saves).

Referees-Adam Griffiths (36), Pat Smith (12).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).

Alex Gogolev nets his first for Victoria in 3-2 win over Vancouver.

For Immediate Release
Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Victoria, BC – In a Saturday night match-up at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals squared off in their home opener against the Vancouver Giants after defeating the Giants in Vancouver on Friday. The Royals started Patrik Polivka in net while the Giants gave the nod to Liam Liston.

Ben Walker opened the scoring at 7:15 of the first period as Victoria pinned Vancouver in their zone after an expired powerplay. Walker beat Liston off the right post when Austin Carroll poked the puck to him from the middle of the crease. The Royals took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Brandon Magee extended Victoria’s lead to 2-0 at 11:55 of the second period on a powerplay goal. Magee accepted a long stretch pass from Jamie Crooks and broke in alone on Liston before he made a toe-drag move and slotted the puck between the Vancouver netminder’s pads. Victoria added another marker just 36 seconds later when Alex Gogolev potted his first in a Royals’ uniform. Logan Nelson sped down the left wing on a two-on-one before he feathered a saucer pass to Gogolev who batted the puck into the open net. After two periods of play, Victoria held a 3-0 lead.

Vancouver added their first goal of the game mid-way through the final frame on a goal from Nathan Burns. Marek Tvrdon centered a pass from behind the net that bounced off a couple bodies in front before Burns buried it on his second swing. The Giants would press with another marker in the final 30 seconds from Cain Franson, but it would not be enough. Victoria 3 Vancouver 2.

Victoria went 1/2 = 50.0% on the power play, while Vancouver was 0/2 = 00.0%. The Giants outshot the Royals 25-23.

The Royals’ next game is Friday, September 28th when they play host to the Kamloops Blazers. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. Sunday, September 30th will see the Royals host the Blazers again for a 1:00 p.m. start. Fans can get in on the action at each of these games for just $5 with Money Mart Mad Monday on September 24th. Limited quantities of $5 tickets for both games will be made available this Monday beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Select Your Tickets Box Office.

Guarantee yourself the best seats with Royals’ season tickets, mini packs or single game tickets by visiting, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing before it’s too late!

Preview: VAN at VIC

The Victoria Royals (1-0) look for back to back wins against the visiting Vancouver Giants (0-1) tonight in Victoria.

It’s the home opener for the Royals after beating the Giants 6-4 last night in Vancouver.

Steven Hodges (2g 1a) and Alex Gogolev (3a) had three point nights while netminder Patrik Polivka stopped 26 shots for his first WHL regualar season victory.

Last season, the Royals split the season opening weekend, with the home team winning their respective games.  Victoria had 3 wins and an overtime loss through ten encounters with Vancouver last year.

Tonight the Royals kick off a four game homestand while looking for consecutive wins against their biggest rival, the Vancouver Giants.  Pregame show at 6:45, puck drop at 7 on The Zone @ 91.3 FM or online at

Leading Scorers:

Franson (2-0-2)
Burns (1-1-2)
Houck (0-2-2)
Kulak (1-0-1)
Makin (0-1-1)

Hodges (2-1-3)
Gogolev (0-3-3)
Hicketts (1-1-2)
Cote (0-2-2)
Fisher (1-0-1)

Recap: VIC 6 - VAN 4

Steven Hodges and Alex Gogolev each had three point nights as the Victoria Royals took the season opener 6-4 in Vancouver against the Giants Friday night.

Victoria built up period leads of 2-1, and 4-2, and held a three goal lead in the third before Vancouver pulled to within one.  An insurance marker into an empty sealed the victory, the clubs first regulation win in Vancouver.

Victoria wins 6-4 in Vancouver
“It was a great effort,” said Royals Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto, “I think we could’ve been better in the 2nd and 3rd, but we had a great first, we got the goals we needed in the second and it was a little tight there in the end, but we were able to hang on and it was  super victory for us, first game of the year, outstanding.”

They’ll face each other in Victoria Saturday night, the second of ten season encounters.

The games first star, Steven Hodges who scored Victoria’s first ever goal a year ago in Vancouver, scored the season opener again, and was named first star with a 2 goal, 1 assist performance.  Alex Gogolev in his first game as a Royal chipped in with 3 helpers. 

The firsts would continue with defenseman Joe Hicketts (1g, 1a) scoring his first WHL goal. “Joe is really strong, he had a great game, just 16 years old.  People in Victoria are in for a real treat watching him play all season long.”  commented Sacilotto. 

Netminder Patrik 'Real Deal' Polivka
Logan Fisher also netted a goal in his first league contest.  Brandon Magee on a great second effort also scored, while Ben Walker popped the water bottle on a breakaway.

It was a solid effort throughout the team as Sacilotto was particularily pleased with the line of Tim Traber, Luke Harrison and Taylor Crunk as a, “…checking, battling line.”

Sacilotto was also impressed with netminder Patrik Polivka who stopped 26 of 30 for his first WHL victory.  “He was outstanding and kept us in the game, he basically won it for us in third.”

The Royals power play was third overall in the preseason and continued to succeed, going 2 for 4, while the penalty kill stopped 4 of 5.

Sacilotto knows the energy will be high for the home opener Saturday night.  “It’s going to be exciting, and the adrenaline will be flowing.”  While the celebration is sweet, it won’t be for long.  “We’ll enjoy tonight, and regroup tomorrow morning, get a good breakfast, a good ferry ride home and we’ll be ready to roll.”

Pregame show at 6:45, with the puck drop at 7:05.  Catch all the Royals play by play action on The Zone @ 91.3 FM.

Victoria Royals 6 at Vancouver Giants 4 - Status: Final
Friday, September 21, 2012 - Pacific Coliseum - Vancouver, BC

Victoria 2 2 2 - 6
Vancouver 1 1 2 - 4

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Hodges 1 (Gogolev), 2:25 (PP).
2, Vancouver, Franson 1 (Burns), 5:25.
3, Victoria, Hodges 2 (Gogolev, Cote), 15:16 (PP).

Penalties-Sward Van (tripping), 1:06; Magee Vic (tripping), 1:34; Makin Van (delay of game), 2:00; Carroll Vic (charging), 9:39; Popoff Van (elbowing), 14:44; Harrison Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 16:59; Houck Van (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 16:59.

2nd Period-
4, Victoria, Magee 1   4:51.
5, Victoria, Walker 1 (Hicketts), 15:37.
6, Vancouver, Franson 2 (Tvrdon, Makin), 18:20 (PP).

Penalties-Carroll Vic (checking to the head), 18:01; Kulak Van (hooking), 18:35.

3rd Period-
7, Victoria, Hicketts 1 (Hodges, Cote), 0:37.
8, Vancouver, Kulak 1 (Houck, Musil), 10:46.
9, Vancouver, Burns 1 (Houck), 13:53.
10, Victoria, Fisher 1 (Gogolev), 19:02 (EN).

Penalties-Cote Vic (cross checking), 11:45; Magee Vic (major-fighting), 16:41; Walker Vic (checking from behind), 16:41; Vickerman Van (major-fighting), 16:41.

Shots on Goal-
Victoria 8-6-4-18.
Vancouver 6-14-10-30.

Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 2 / 4; Vancouver 1 / 5.

Victoria, Polivka 1-0-0-0 (30 shots-26 saves).
Vancouver, Liston 0-1-0-0 (17 shots-12 saves).

Victoria wins 6-4 Over Vancouver to open the 2012-13 season

For Immediate Release
Friday, September 21, 2012

Vancouver, BC – In a Friday night matchup, the Victoria Royals kicked off their 2012-13 WHL regular season with a trip to the Pacific Coliseum to take on the Vancouver Giants. The Royals’ gave Patrik Polivka the nod in net while the Giants’ countered with Liam Liston.

Victoria got on the board early when they capitalized on a 4-on-3 powerplay. Alex Gogolev corralled a Logan Nelson shot to the right of the Vancouver goal and fed a cross-crease pass to Steven Hodges. The Royals’ forward buried the shot for his first goal of the season at the 2:25 mark. The Giants equalized three minutes later when Cain Franson collected the loose puck and skated out from behind the Victoria net before he beat Polivka high to the glove side. The Royals’ regained the lead at 15:16 of the period with a second powerplay tally of the period. As Victoria gained the Vancouver zone Gogolev slipped a pass to Hodges on the left wing and he fired a shot from the circle that beat Liston to the short side. Victoria headed to the intermission in front 2-1.

Brandon Magee increased the Royals’ lead to two goals 4:51 into the second frame. After a wrap-around attempt, the Victoria forward collected his own rebound and snapped home his first of the season past the Vancouver netminder. Ben Walker would make it 4-1 for Victoria at 15:37 after he collected a flip pass from Joe Hicketts at center ice. The Victoria forward sprung into the offensive zone on a breakaway and fired the puck over the glove of Liston. The Giants’ cut the lead in half with under two minutes to go before the intermission. Franson received a pass in the slot from Marek Tvrdon before he slid the puck past the left pad of Polivka. After 40 minutes Victoria led 4-2.

Victoria jumped out to a quick start in the third period as Hicketts tallied his first WHL goal. The 16-year-old rookie wristed a shot from the left point as Royals’ powerplay ended that beat a screened Liston to go up 5-2. Vancouver cut into the Victoria lead just past the halfway point of the period. Forward Brett Kulak banged home the loose puck at the right of the net after Jackson Houck gained the zone, but was tripped up in front of the Victoria goal. The Giants clawed to within one goal at 13:53 after Houck rang a shot off the far post. The rebound found the stick of Nathan Burns who slotted the puck into the open net. Logan Fisher sealed the victory for the Royals’ with an empty net marker for his first career WHL goal. Victoria 6 Vancouver 4.

Victoria went 2/4 = 50.0% on the power play, while Vancouver was 1/5 = 20.0%. The Giants’ outshot the Royals 30-18.

The Royals will kick off their 2012-13 home schedule tomorrow night when they host the Vancouver Giants at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Tickets are still available at the Select Your Tickets Box Office at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. The Royals encourage fans to buy their tickets early to avoid line-ups prior to the game.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Preview: Royals vs Giants - Game #01

The Victoria Royals (4-2) kick off their second campaign with back to back games against the Giants (1-3-1-1), beginning in Vancouver tonight.

The Royals are riding a 4 game preseason win streak, ending with a pair of wins against the Giants – who’ve dropped their last 4.

Victoria’s power play in the preseason was third best in the league, with Vancouver’s ranked 20th.

Last season, Victoria earned three wins against Vancouver, all coming on the Island.

In the post season, the Giants fell 4 games to 2 to Spokane in round one after finishing fourth in the Conference, while the seventh place Royals were swept by the Blazers.

And then the changes began, in June then GM / Head Coach Marc Habscheid took on a new executive role within GSL to assist them in developing other hockey related businesses.

In July Cam Hope was hired as General Manager.  Cam spent 7 years (2004 – 2011) working as part of the NHL’s New York Rangers management team, promoted from VP of Hockey Admininstration to Assistant General Manager in 2007.

Then came the hiring of the Royal’s new bench boss, 19 year NHL veteran Dave Lowry who has spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames and has also coached the Calgary Hitmen.

The NHL draft saw Steven Hodges taken by the Florida Panthers in the 3rd round 84th overall, and Logan Nelson by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth round, 133rd overall.

In the Euro draft, Victoria selected netminder Patrik Polivka 14th overall from the Czech Republic.

Victoria graduated Hayden Rintoul and Robin Soudek, Zach Habscheid went to the USHL, overagers Mike Forsyth and netminder Keith Hamilton were waived, Kade Pilton traded to Regina for rights to F Demico Hannoun (1995), and Zane Jones (94) to the Calgary Hitmen for Russian forward Alex Gogolev (92).

Other newcomers for the Royals include 16 year old rookie defenseman Joe Hicketts (their first round bantam pick in 2011), Jack Walker (younger brother of Ben), and 3rd rd pick in 2011, Ryan Gagnon.  Kolton Dixon is a 17 year old rookie on the backend. 

New faces up front include 16 yr old Colorado forward Brandon Fushimi, plus rookies Logan Fisher and Mitch Deacon.  In goal, Coleman Vollrath is the fresh face battling for a position.

Victoria is carrying a 26 player roster which includes 3 netminders, 9 defensemen and 14 forwards.

As for their opposition tonight, the Giants lose three of their top five point-getters from last season, including 40-goal men Brendan Gallagher (77pts) and Jordan Martinook (64pts) , who combined for nearly a third of the team’s goals.

Slovakian, Marek Tvrdon (74 pts) who was second in scoring last season will be relied upon to provide scoring, along with fellow 19 year old Cain Franson.

Wes Vannieuwenhuizen is the newly appointed Giants captain, as Vancouver sees five rearguards return from last season.  The Royals have yet to name theirs.

With last year’s starter Adam Morrison moving on, the Giants acquired 19-year-old Liam Liston from Lethbridge to assume the top job in net.

This week Vancouver acquired 3 new players without losing any bodies, acquiring forward Tristan Sieben from Edmonton, forward Tanner Moar and defenseman Stewart Coyle from Kelowna.

Catch all the play by play action on The Zone @ 91.3, or online at The pregame show begins at 7:15, with puck drop at 7:30 tonight.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Alex Gogolev: First Practice & Impressions

Alex Gogolev attend his first Victoria Royals practice this morning at the SOFMC.  The 20 year old Russian forward was acquired from the Hitmen Saturday, with Zane Jones headed to Calgary.

Gogolev in red at his first practice Monday morning.
 “Put the puck on his stick, and he’ll surprises a lot of our guys with the passes that he’ll be able to make.” Said Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry. “I expect him to come and compete everyday, and obviously he’s fortunate that he has a very high skill set.”

Gogolev started playing at just of the age of two, and his Dad is the Assistant Coach of KHL Spartak Moscow.   He also plays soccer and tennis, but noted, ‘Hockey is number one.’  He models himself after Evgeni Malkin, and his favourite Russian player is Alex Radulov.

“I watched him play and practice all year last year, I’m very familiar with him.” said Lowry who’s no stranger to the type of player the Royals get, “There’s no surprises with him, he’s a skilled player and he usually has the puck on a string and that’s what we expect.”

The Royals kick off the season in Vancouver Friday, with the home opener the following night.  Lowry commented on starting the season on the road.  “Usually it’s a very hostile place to play, Don (Hay) will have his team ready…it’s up to our guys to make sure that number one, as coaches, we have our guys prepared for a real quick start and real intense game.”

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Preaseason #6 - VIC 4 - VAN 2

The Victoria Royals came from behind to score three unanswered in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Vancouver Giants Saturday afternoon in Victoria.

 The Royals wrap up the pre season with a 4-2 record, taking both weekend games from the Giants, 5-4 in shoot out the night before.

“We’ve gotten better each night, and today I like the way that once again we competed, we did a lot of good things.” said Head Coach Dave Lowry.

After Jamie Crooks opened the scoring, the Giants took a 2-1 lead before Logan Nelson tied it up a 2 after 20 minutes.

Brandon Magee scored on the power play in the second after a nice feed from Ben Walker.

The Royals salute the home crowd after a 4-2 win.
Magee added the insurance marker into an empty net late in the third.

Magee and Walker both put up a goal and assist.

Patrik Polivka went the distance for the Royals stopping 28 of 30 shots.  "He's a good goalie, we're really glad to have him here." said Logan Nelson. 

Tyler Fuhr allowed 3 goals on 12 Royals shots after 40 minutes.  Liam Liston played the third stopping all 4 shots he faced.

Victoria went 1 for 4 on the power play, stopping all 5 Vancouver man advantages. 

Victoria rides a four game win streak into the regular season when they face the same Giants in Vancouver Friday Sept 21st.  "I think it (the rivalry) will be even more ramped up than it was today, regular season starts and everyone's going to be more intense."  said Magee.

Vancouver Giants 2 at Victoria Royals 4 - Status: Final
Saturday, September 15, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Vancouver 2 0 0 - 2
Victoria 2 1 1 - 4

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Crooks 1 (Carroll, Cote), 2:00.
2, Vancouver, Vetterl 1 (Sward), 10:27.
3, Vancouver, Tvrdon 2 (Houck, Makin), 12:49.
4, Victoria, Nelson 1 (Magee), 14:52.

Penalties-Magee Vic (interference), 2:35; Vickerman Van (tripping), 5:23; Makin Van (high sticking), 6:06; Crunk Vic (interference), 15:08; Deacon Vic (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period-
5, Victoria, Magee 3 (Walker), 3:35 (PP).

Penalties-Zalitach Van (interference), 3:26; McNaughton Van (roughing), 8:31; Nelson Vic (roughing), 8:31; Crooks Vic (slashing), 9:22.

3rd Period-
6, Victoria, Walker 3   18:48 (EN).

Penalties-Kanzig Vic (kneeing), 7:00; Orban Van (delay of game), 11:13.

Shots on Goal-Vancouver 9-7-14-30. Victoria 8-4-5-17.
Power Play Opportunities-Vancouver 0 / 5; Victoria 1 / 4.
Goalies-Vancouver, Fuhr 1-1-0-0 (12 shots-9 saves); Liston 0-0-0-1 (4 shots-4 saves). Victoria, Polivka 2-0-0-0 (30 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Ryan Benbow (62), Adam Griffiths (36).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).

Royals Trade for Alex Gogolev

The Victoria Royals traded forward Zane Jones (94) and a conditional 6th round draft choice to the Calgary Hitmen for import forward Alex Gogolev (92) and a 4th pick in 2013.
Zane Jones, now of the Calgary Hitmen.
"I think if you look at his stats and the type of player he is, you know why we're bringing him in." said Head Coach Dave Lowry on Gogolev.  "We've got some good offensive guys and we think he'll be able to come in and complement our guys and he's a very dynamic player."

As for Zane Jones, the move means being closer to his hometown of Olds, AB.  "I'm happy about it, I'm close to's bittersweet leaving a great spot like Victoira, great group of guys here." said Jones.

Alex Gogolev, now a Victoria Royal
"When you get a chance to get an elite scorer in the league you have to really look at it hard..." General Manager Cam Hope said, "And to get a quality guy like that, you've got to give up quality.  Nobody likes to make a trade of a guy who's been here, who's part of the fabric of the team, it makes it hard, but I felt it was something that would make the club better."

The Royals now carry three overagers in Jamie Crooks, Tyler Stahl, and Alex Gogolev.  They also have both Euro spots filled with netminder Patrik Polivka.

Victoria sends Zane Jones to Calgary for veteran sniper and a fourth round pick.

For Immediate Release
Saturday, September 15, 2012

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals today announced that the team has traded for import forward Alex Gogolev (1992) and a fourth round pick in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft from the Calgary Hitmen. In exchange, the Royals have sent forward Zane Jones (1994) and a conditional sixth round draft choice to the Hitmen.

Gogolev played his first season in the WHL last year after being selected by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2011 CHL Import Draft in the second round, 63rd overall. With the Hitmen, Gogolev collected 57 points (25g-32a) in 69 games of regular season play in 2011-12 to go along with a plus-17 rating. The Moscow, Russia native also registered four points (3g-1a) in five games during the 2012 WHL Playoffs with Calgary.

The 5-11, 172 lb forward spent the majority of the 2010-11 season with MHC Spartak of the Minor Hockey League (MHL), the top level of junior hockey in Eurasia. Gogolev notched 42 points (19g-23a) as well as 111 penalty minutes through 43 games played and was selected to the 2010-11 MHL All-Star Game. 

Gogolev also suited up for three games with Spartak Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) during the 2010-11 season. Spartak drafted the forward in the 2009 KHL Draft with their second round, 28th overall, selection.

In the 2009-10 season, Gogolev played 45 games for MHC Spartak, registering 44 points (13g-31a) in his rookie season. Gogolev was also selected to represent Russia at the 2009 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge tallying six points (3g-3a) in five games at the tournament en route to a silver medal.

Victoria sends forward Zane Jones to Calgary after the Olds, AB native spent the 2011-12 season with the Royals. Drafted by the Chilliwack Bruins in the fifth round, 91st overall, of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Jones recorded 32 points (14g-18a) last season in 68 games as well as one goal and one assist in four games during the 2012 WHL Playoffs.

The Royals will kick off their 2012-13 home schedule on September 22nd when they will host the Vancouver Giants at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Season tickets and mini-packs are now on sale. Guarantee yourself the best seats by visiting, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing before it’s too late!