The Victoria Royals (48-16-3-3, 102pts) are the WHL regular season champions, winning the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy after a 7-4 victory on the road against the Kelowna Rockets Wednesday night.
“For our group it is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“For where we were at the beginning of the year to where we are today, I don’t think anybody would have written out the script like that. I give a ton of credit to our players and our leadership making sure this team was prepared every night.”
It was the franchise’s first WHL regular season championship, third for city, joining the 80-81 Cougars and 74-75 team.
The Royals won their 11th in a row, tying the franchise record they set earlier in the season, and earned a franchise best 102 points. Victoria earns home ice advantage throughout the entire post season. It was the clubs 48th victory, tying the franchise record set 2 seasons ago.
“Lot’s of excitement, the guys were hooting and hollering,” Said Tyler Soy on the atmosphere in the dressing room following the win. Soy was the games 1st star with a goal and 3 assists.
“Definitely a good feeling, a good environment. We’re all pretty happy tonight.”
Victoria held period leads of 3-0 and 6-3, before the clubs traded 3rd period goals and the Royals winning for a 3rd time at Prospera Place.
The club wins the season series with a record of 5-2-1-0.
Victoria scored 4 times on the power play on 9 chances, while Kelowna went 4 for 6.
It was a physical affair, as special teams played a big role.
The Rockets closed the gap to within one with a pair of power play goals :16 seconds apart to start the 2nd period, making the game 3-2. The Royals notched the next pair to lead again by 3.
Victoria outshot Kelowna 36-30 as Coleman Vollrath earned his 32nd victory in his 51st appearance and third straight start. Michael Herringer took the loss.
The Royals have outshot the opposition in 17 straight games with a record of (15-1-1-0) in that span.
Tyler Soy and Alex Forsberg had 4 point nights, Forsberg 2 goals and 2 assists. Jack Walker had 2 goals and an assist, while Matthew Phillips and Joe Hicketts chipped in with a pair of assists each. Ethan Price and Vladimir Bobylev scored the other goals.
Rourke Chartier had 3 assists for the Rockets, who got goals from Dillon Dube, Cal Foote, Calvin Thurkauf and Thomas Soustal.
The Royals have won their last 6 on the road, and are 13 over .500 off the Island.
Victoria wraps up the regular season with a pair against Everett beginning on the road Friday night.
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 7 at Kelowna Rockets 4 – Status: Final
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 – Prospera Place – Kelowna, BC
Victoria 3 3 1 – 7
Kelowna 0 3 1 – 4
1, Victoria, Forsberg 29 (Soy, Phillips), 3:27 (PP).
2, Victoria, Price 11 (Westgard, Peckford), 11:10.
3, Victoria, Walker 34 (Soy, Hicketts), 16:18 (PP).
Penalties-Lind Kel (slashing), 3:04; Linaker Kel (boarding), 7:55; Walford Vic (roughing), 14:56; Thurkauf Kel (roughing), 14:56; Dube Kel (slashing), 15:47; Dmytriw Vic (hooking), 16:52; Southam Kel (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 17:15.
4, Kelowna, Dube 25 (Chartier, Southam), 5:15 (PP).
5, Kelowna, Thurkauf 16 (Linaker), 5:31 (PP).
6, Victoria, Forsberg 30 (Soy), 6:25.
7, Victoria, Bobylev 27 (Reddekopp, Forsberg), 9:20.
8, Kelowna, Foote 8 (Soustal, Chartier), 14:25 (PP).
9, Victoria, Soy 42 (Phillips, Walker), 18:28 (PP).
Penalties-Westgard Vic (high sticking, high sticking), 3:26; Gagnon Vic (slashing), 8:18; Baillie Kel (cross checking), 8:18; Smart Kel (hooking), 12:04; Nagy Vic (interference), 14:02; Stadel Kel (roughing), 17:15.
10, Kelowna, Soustal 20 (Chartier, Johansen), 7:57 (PP).
11, Victoria, Walker 35 (Forsberg, Hicketts), 16:36 (PP).
Penalties-Chartier Kel (elbowing), 2:20; Gagnon Vic (roughing), 6:18; Wishnowski Kel (cross checking), 10:00; Chizen Kel (slashing), 13:42; Foote Kel (slashing), 15:45; Phillips Vic (slashing), 18:46.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 4 / 9;
Kelowna 4 / 6.
Goalies-Victoria, Vollrath 32-13-0-2 (30 shots-26 saves). Kelowna, Herringer 25-12-2-0 (36 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jeff Ingram (82), Brett Iverson (24).
Linesmen-Bevan Mills (98), Dustin Minty (86).