Saturday, 27 October 2012

Preview: Victoria at Kamloops

The Victoria Royals (9-5, 18pts) visit the number one ranked team in Canada, the Kamloops Blazers (13-0-0-1, 26pts) Saturday night.

Pregame show at 6:40, puck drop at 7pm on The Zone 91.3 FM, or online

It’s their fourth of eight meetings, and with a (1-2) record giving the Blazers their only blemish on an otherwise perfect record.  The Royals won 4-3 in a shoot out in Victoria on Sept 28th, and then dropped a 3-0 decision two nights later before falling in Kamloops 5-2 October 10th.

The Royals had their 3 game win streak snapped Friday night in Vancouver, falling for the first time in 4 meetings against the Giants, by a 4-1 score.  Jamie Crooks provided the lone goal for Victoria with defenseman Jack Walker collecting his first WHL point with an assist in the loss.

The Blazers are riding an 11 game win streak after an 8-1 win Friday night against the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings.  It was their first game back following a (5-0) trip through the Central division.

Victoria is led in scoring by Alex Gogolev’s 18 points, tied for 11th in the league.  Logan Nelson is tied with Gogolev with 11 assists and is second in team scoring with 14 points.  Ben Walker had his 3 game point streak snapped in Vancouver and is third in scoring with 12 points.

Kamloops line of JC Lipon, Colin Smith and Tim Bozon are 1,2,3 in scoring in the league, combining for 91 points.  Collectively, they’ve scored 52% of the teams goals.  The Blazers have 4 of the top 7 scorers in the leaue.  Smith is the WHL player of the week and joins Lipon on Team WHL for the Super Series.

Kamloops owns the number 1 ranked power play and has scored the most goals for on average while allowing the fewest in the league.

Netminder Cole Cheveldave is 1st in the league in wins with 9, and has the 2nd best goals against average and 2nd best save percentage.

North Saanich product defenseman Sam Grist was acquired in a trade in early October from Tri City, and leads all defenseman in plus/minus with +14.

It’s the second of seven consecutive on the road for the Royals, with their next stop a week Friday and Saturday in Portland.