The Victoria Royals got goals from 6 different players as they defeated the host Kamloops Blazers 6-1 on New Years eve.
“Preparation, and our best players were extremely good tonight,” said head coach Dave Lowry on how the club took over the game,
“The leadership, and we’ve had 4 tough games and the way that they’ve got these guys prepared to play is exciting, and it’s a credit to our group.”
The Royals swept their two game road swing after a 2-1 victory over the Rockets one night earlier, and extend their winning streak to 4 games with points in 5 straight.
Victoria is 4th in the BC Division but are now just 2 points back of both Kamloops and Kelowna.
“This is a stretch that either makes or breaks your playoff hopes…it’s important we continue to get better and find ways to win hockey games.” Added Lowry.
Saturday the Royals held period leads of 1-0, and 4-0, before going up 6-0 in the third, just to have the shutout bid spoiled with 1:13 left.
Victoria got goal and assist performances from Tyler Soy (shorthanded), Jack Walker and Regan Nagy who’s line combined for 6 points. Matthew Phillips also had a goal and assist, and along with Vladimir Bobylev’s 2 helpers and Dante Hannoun’s 15th goal, contributed 5 points. Ethan Price added a single.
The Royals scored late in the first, and were tied at 14-14 shots apiece after 20 minutes but then took over the game with a 3 goal 2nd period while out shooting the Blazers 21-7 and 43-31 overall.
Victoria was 0 for 3 on the power play, while Kelowna was 0 for 2.
Griffen Outhouse earned the win with 30 saves, while Dylan Ferguson made his 10th straight start in the absence of World Junior netminder Connor Ingram, but was relieved after Victoria’s 5th goal in favour of rookie Max Palaga who stopped 6 of 7.
The Royals take a 3-1 season series lead against the Blazers, who had their 2 game win streak snapped.
Victoria earned wins in back to back games for a 2nd time in a week, while winning all 4 games in 5 nights.
“We’re starting to play complete games, and we’re starting to get contributions from everyone in our lineup, so it is encouraging.” Said Lowry.
The Royals will continue their road trip next weekend with a pair against the first place Cougars.
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 6 at Kamloops Blazers 1 – Status: Final
Saturday, December 31, 2016 – Sandman Centre – Kamloops, BC
Victoria 1 3 2 – 6
Kamloops 0 0 1 – 1
1, Victoria, Phillips 26 (Bobylev, Reddekopp), 17:31.
2, Victoria, Nagy 11 (Walker, Soy), 0:42.
3, Victoria, Soy 16 11:09 (SH).
4, Victoria, Walker 20 (Nagy), 14:04.
Penalties-Sideroff Kam (checking to the head), 1:51; Bobylev Vic (high sticking), 9:34; Benjafield Kam (roughing), 16:33.
5, Victoria, Hannoun 15 (Phillips, Bobylev), 1:00.
6, Victoria, Price 3 (Folk, Oliver), 13:03.
7, Kamloops, Chyzowski 10 (Loewen, Bast), 18:47.
Penalties-Phillips Vic (tripping), 5:46; Shepard Kam (tripping), 15:23.
Shots on Goal-
Victoria 14-21-8-43. Kamloops 14-7-10-31.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 3; Kamloops 0 / 2.
Victoria, Outhouse 21-12-3-0 (31 shots-30 saves).
Kamloops, Ferguson 9-6-0-1 (36 shots-31 saves);
Palaga 0-0-0-0 (7 shots-6 saves).
Referees-Kevin Bennett (29), Bryan Bourdon (45).
Linesmen-Riley Balson (46), Cody Wanner (56).