The Victoria Royals face the Kelowna Rockets in the best of seven Western Conference Semi-Final, beginning Thursday and Saturday night in Victoria.
Puck drop at 7:05 both nights.
Radio: The Zone @ 91.3 fm Victoria
Victoria advanced after defeating the Spokane Chiefs in 6 games, while Kelowna got past Kamloops in 7, the final in overtime.
Last year, the Royals fell in 5 games to the Rockets in round two, and the franchise looks to advance to the third round for the first time in it’s history.
Kelowna went on to win the WHL Championship in 2015, but fell in the final game of the Memorial Cup against the Oshawa Generals in overtime.
Victoria (50-16-3-3, 106 pts) finished the regular season with 2 more wins and 6 more points than Kelowna (48-20-4-0, 100pts).
The Royals were ranked 4th in the CHL Top 10, and crowned WHL regular season champions. The Rockets received Honourable Mention, finishing 2nd in the West, and 3rd overall.
Victoria scored the 3rd most goals, while Kelowna netted the 4th most. The Royals were the stingiest team over the 72 games, while the Rockets allowed the 6th fewest. Kelowna held the 2nd best power play and 10th ranked penalty kill, while Victoria was 6th most efficient with the man advantage overall and 2nd best when down a man.
The Royals won the most games on the road in the regular season, and 4th most at home, while the Rockets won the 3rd most at home and on the road.
Down the stretch, Victoria won their last 13 regular season games, while Kelowna won 5 of their last 10 going into the post season.
Alex Forsberg led the Royals in regular season scoring with 91 points including 60 assists. Tyler Soy was their goal leader with 46, while Matthew Phillips was the Western Conference Rookie of the year, leading all freshman in goals (37) and points 76.
Tyson Baillie was the Rockets scoring leader, leading in both goals (43), and assists (52) for 95 points. Justin Kirkland (67pts) and Dillon Dube (68) round out the top 3.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Royals bested the Rockets in the season series with a record of 5-2-1-0. The Royals won 3 times on the road, and twice at home.
Victoria outscored Kelowna 29-19 over the eight meetings, and won the last two encounters, both on the road (7-4 and 4-1).
The Royals power play went 14/52 (26.9%), while the Rockets went 7 for 35 (20%).
Matthew Phillips led the way for Victoria with 16 points in 8 games (5g 11a). Alex Forsberg had 14 (7g 7a) and Jack Walker 12 (2g 2a). Tyler Soy netted 6 goals and 4 assists for 10 points.
Netminder Coleman Vollrath went 4-2, while rookie goalkeeper Griffen Outhouse was (1-0-1-0).
Forward Justin Kirkland provided 7 points over the 8 game season series for Kelowna (4g 3a). Michael Herringer went 2-4 over 6 starts with a 4.13 gaa / 0.877 save %, and Jackson Whistle went(1-1).
Victoria outscored Spokane 21-19 in round 1, and were 6/25 (24%) on the power play and 16/21 (76.2%) on the penalty kill.
Kelowna was outscored 17-15 by Kamloops, were 22/6 (7.7%) on the power play and 26/32 (81%) on the penalty kill.
The Royals were 2-1 at home and on the road. The Rockets were 3-1 and home, and 1-2 on the road.
Victoria comes in with 320 playoff games experience, while Kelowna possesses 538 games of post season experience led by Tyson Baillie’s 53 games.
The Royals are led by Tyler Soy and Jack Walker with 9 pts each (5g 4a).
Thomas Soustal (WJ Czech Rep) has 6pts (3g 3a), while Rourke Chartier (WJ CAN) has 5 points in 7 games (2g 3a).
Former Royals netminder Michael Herringer is (4-3) with 2 shut outs for the Rockets, with a 2.39 gaa / 0.930 save %. Back up Brodan Salmond has appeared in two games, playing a total of 51 minutes, allowing 2 goals on 30 shots.
Victoria started overage netminder Coleman Vollrath for the first 3 games of the playoffs, posting a record of 2-1. Rookie Griffen Outhouse who lead all freshman in Save % and GAA in the regular season has played the last 3 games, going 2-1 with a 2.51 gaa and 0.901 save %.
8 Royals played in their first WHL playoff games.
Kelowna’s Justin Kirkland is a 3rd round pick of the Nashville Predators in 2014, Chartier a 5th round selection of the San Jose Sharks, and Nick Merkley a first round pick of the Arizona Coyotes.
Victoria defenseman Chaz Reddekopp (7th LA ’15), and Joe Hicketts (Signed – DET).
Rockets overage netminder Jackson Whistle (lower body, indefinitie) and forward Nick Merkley (lower body, indefinitie) will miss the remainder of the season.
Royals Captain Joe Hicketts (undisclosed) has missed the last 5 games, and forward Vladimir Bobylev (undisclosed) did not play in Game 6 against the Chiefs.
Thursday, April 7th – Kelowna @ Victoria – 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 9th – Kelowna @ Victoria – 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12th – Victoria @ Kelowna – 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, April 14th – Victoria @ Kelowna – 7:05 p.m.
Friday, April 15th – Kelowna @ Victoria – 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
Sunday, April 17th – Victoria @ Kelowna – 5:00 p.m. (if necessary)
Tuesday, April 19th – Kelowna @ Victoria – 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals vs Kelowna Rockets: Head To Head Stats
|Head to Head Record 2015-16 Regular Season||Victoria 5-2-1-0||Kelowna 3-5-0-0|
|Previous Meetings This Season: Victoria 7 @ Kelowna 4 (Mar 16 2016) Final
Victoria 4 @ Kelowna 1 (Jan 30 2016) Final
Kelowna 2 @ Victoria 1 (Jan 16 2016) OT
Kelowna 3 @ Victoria 4 (Jan 15 2016) Final
Victoria 4 @ Kelowna 5 (Jan 2 2016) Final
Kelowna 1 @ Victoria 5 (Nov 28 2015) Final
Kelowna 3 @ Victoria 1 (Nov 27 2015) Final
Victoria 3 @ Kelowna 0 (Oct 9 2015) Final
How the 2 teams match up
|Team Record||48-20-4-0 — 100 points||50-16-3-3 — 106 points|
|Division Ranking||2nd B.C.||1st B.C.|
|Conference Ranking||2nd Western||1st Western|
|Past 10 Games||5-4-1-0||10-0-0-0|
|Last Game||10-1 W vs Vancouver (Mar 19 2016) Final||4-1 W vs Everett (Mar 19 2016) Final|
|PP (Overall)||(68/278) 24.5%||(75/329) 22.8%|
|PP (Home)||(37/144) 25.7%||(43/180) 23.9%|
|PP (Away)||(31/134) 23.1%||(32/149) 21.5%|
|PK (Overall)||(65/308) 78.9%||(41/259) 84.2%|
|PK (Home)||(30/154) 80.5%||(21/136) 84.6%|
|PK (Away)||(35/154) 77.3%||(20/123) 83.7%|
|PP vs. Opp.||(7/35) 20%||(14/52) 26.9%|
|PK vs. Opp.||(14/52) 73.1%||(7/35) 80%|
|Leading Rookie||Thurkauf (18-27-45)||Phillips (37-39-76)|
|Most PIM||Stadel – 108||Reddekopp – 102|
|Leading Scorers||Baillie (43-52-95)||Forsberg (31-60-91)|
|Kirkland (31-36-67)||Soy (46-39-85)|
|Dube (26-40-66)||Walker (36-48-84)|
|Linaker (18-32-50)||Phillips (37-39-76)|
|Johansen (10-39-49)||Bobylev (28-39-67)|
|Last 5 Games||10-1 W vs Vancouver (Mar 19 2016) Final||4-1 W vs Everett (Mar 19 2016) Final|
|5-3 W @ Vancouver (Mar 18 2016) Final||4-2 W @ Everett (Mar 18 2016) Final|
|7-4 L vs Victoria (Mar 16 2016) Final||7-4 W @ Kelowna (Mar 16 2016) Final|
|6-4 L @ Tri-City (Mar 13 2016) Final||4-3 W vs Prince George (Mar 13 2016) Final|
|6-1 W @ Spokane (Mar 12 2016) Final||6-2 W vs Prince George (Mar 11 2016) Final|
|Leading After 1st||22-1-1-0||33-3-2-2|
|Leading After 2nd||33-0-3-0||39-2-1-1|
|Tied After 1st||18-2-3-0||12-9-1-1|
|Tied After 2nd||11-3-1-0||7-5-2-2|
|Trailing After 1st||8-17-0-0||5-4-0-0|
|Trailing After 2nd||4-17-0-0||4-9-0-0|
|Out Shooting Opponents||22-4-2-0||40-7-3-3|
|Out Shot by Opponents||24-13-2-0||9-9-0-0|