Facing elimination, the visiting Victoria Royals forced a Game 7 after defeating the Kelowna Rockets 3-2 Sunday night.
“We’ve always had to work for our success, and tonight we worked start to finish.” Said Head Coach Dave Lowry.
Victoria took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, jumped to 3-0 before got the last two to make it close.
“Our battle level, the way that we came in with a sense of desperation – especially when our season was on the line.” Said Lowry when asked what impressed him about the clubs performance.
The visitors out shot Kelowna 16-9 in the first, and 36-27 overall.
Jack Walker had a goal and assist, while Joe Hicketts added a pair of helpers. Regan Nagy and Tyler Soy added singles, the later on the power play.
“It’s easy to get up and play a game when you’re desperate to win, and that’s the mindset going into game 7.” Said Walker.
Nagy gave the Royals a 3-0 in the second before the Rockets Cal Foote scored with 16.6 seconds left.
Justin Kirkland got the home team to within one early in the third, but that was all Kelowna could get past Coleman Vollrath.
“It felt good, a lot of tired guys in there…” said Hicketts,
“We left it all out there, we brought the team game, I thought we played really well tonight…we gave ourselves a chance to play in a game 7 which everyone dreams of.”
“He had no choice,” said Lowry on Hicketts big game,
“He’s the leader and as Joe goes – your team goes. You want your best players to be your best players at this time of year.”
Victoria was 1 for 7 on the power play, after going 3 games without scoring on the man advantage. The Royals shut down all 3 Rocket power plays.
“One of the keys was scoring on that power play, and that’s something we haven’t done for a couple games, and that’s definitely a key going into our barn.” Add Walker.
Victoria lost Alex Forsberg late in the third after a hard hit by Calvin Thurkauff.
Michael Herringer made 33 saves in the loss.
It’s the first game 7 in Royals history, and it goes Tuesday night in Victoria at 7pm.
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 3 at Kelowna Rockets 2 – Status: Final
Sunday, April 17, 2016 – Prospera Place – Kelowna, BC
Victoria 2 1 0 – 3
Kelowna 0 1 1 – 2
1, Victoria, Walker 8 (Hicketts, Reddekopp), 9:03.
2, Victoria, Soy 6 (Hicketts, Walker), 17:08 (PP).
Penalties-Ibragimov Vic (elbowing), 4:46; Hicketts Vic (slashing), 6:50; Southam Kel (slashing), 6:50; Soustal Kel (slashing), 13:21; Dube Kel (tripping), 16:10; Soy Vic (inter. on goaltender), 19:01.
3, Victoria, Nagy 2 (Forsberg), 15:40.
4, Kelowna, Foote 1 (Johansen, Dube), 19:43.
Penalties-Lind Kel (charging), 5:00; Foote Kel (elbowing), 9:07; Gatenby Kel (hooking), 18:45; Hicketts Vic (hooking), 19:17.
5, Kelowna, Kirkland 6 (Stephens, Southam), 3:12.
Penalties-Jarratt Vic (interference), 1:45; Dube Kel (embellishment), 1:45; Soustal Kel (hooking), 5:28; served by Baillie Kel (too many men), 11:27.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 7;
Kelowna 0 / 3.
Victoria, Vollrath 5-4-0-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Kelowna, Herringer 7-6-0-0 (36 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Chris Crich (20), Chris Schlenker (9).
Linesmen-Bevan Mills (98), Dustin Minty (86).