The Victoria Royals wrapped up their 3 game Central Division road trip on a high note, defeating the Kootenay Ice 4-1 Saturday night, snapping a winless in 3 skid.
“We got off to a great start…we showed a lot of composure, compete, and we had some guys that had really good games for us.” Said Head Coach Dave Lowry.
The club was without 4 regulars, Tyler Soy, Ryan Peckford, Chaz Reddekopp and Jared Dmytriw who served the final of a 3 game suspension.
“We were able to play four lines tonight – that’s going to have to be a staple for us moving forward…” said Lowry,
“With injuries and key guys out, we ask certain guys to elevate their game and ask guys that inherit minutes and to give us what they have – and I thought the kids did a great job tonight.”
After falling 3-1 in Medicine Hat Wednesday, Victoria picked up 3 of a possible 4 points in their final two games of the trek, collecting a single in a 5-4 shoot out loss in Lethbridge Friday.
On Saturday in Cranbrook, the Royals scored first, and never trailed in the game.
Regan Nagy opened the scoring on the power play burying a shot from the right dot, while giving the Royals an early 6-1 shot advantage. Nagy has 3 goals in his last 2 games.
Jake Elmer responded for the Ice also with the man advantage to tie the game at one after 20.
Jack Walker struck with his 25th of the year, with a highlight reel goal coming out of the penalty box and skating around a pair of Kootenay defenders, and burying his own rebound off Peyton Lee to break a 1-1 second period draw.
Matthew Phillips gave the Royals their first 2 goal lead midway through the third for his 150th career point. Phillips then added an assist on Carter Folks empty netter to seal it.
Phillips now has 42 goals, tied for 3rd in the WHL, and has notched singles in 3 straight.
Second year defenseman Scott Walford had 3 assists. He also now wears the letter ‘A’ on his chest.
“He’s evolved into one of the leaders of our team,” mention Lowry,
“I don’t care how old they are, I’m looking for guys that are willing to do things right and aren’t afraid to hold guys accountable. Walford’s game has really grown, and I look at him at the not too distant future as one of the leaders of this team.”
Victoria netminder Dylan Myskiw earned his 2nd win in just his 12th game, stopping 26 of 27, while Peyton Lee kicked out 34 of 37.
The Royals were 1 for 5 on the power play, while the Ice went 1 for 4.
Victoria jumped back into the final Wild Card spot, 2 up on Portland.
Up next, the club heads home to practice before heading to Langley to face Vancouver on Friday, the first of 3 in 3 against the Giants, the latter two in Victoria.
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 4 at Kootenay ICE 1 – Status: End of Game
Saturday, February 18, 2017 – Western Financial Place – Cranbrook, BC
Victoria 1 1 2 – 4
Kootenay 1 0 0 – 1
1, Victoria, Nagy 16 (Gagnon, Walford), 3:58 (PP).
2, Kootenay, Elmer 6 (Hines, Wellsby), 11:46 (PP).
Penalties-Loschiavo Ktn (high sticking), 1:27; Murray Ktn (slashing), 3:01; Walker Vic (tripping), 6:31; Bobylev Vic (high sticking), 10:19; Walford Vic (slashing), 17:32.
3, Victoria, Walker 25 8:03.
Penalties-Walker Vic (tripping), 5:47; Elmer Ktn (hooking), 11:16; Fleury Ktn (tripping), 14:10.
4, Victoria, Phillips 42 (Bobylev, Walford), 8:03.
5, Victoria, Folk 7 (Phillips), 18:42 (EN).
Penalties-Wellsby Ktn (delay of game), 11:30.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 5;
Kootenay 1 / 4.
Victoria, Myskiw 2-3-1-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
Kootenay, Lee 9-20-6-2 (37 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Ward Pateman (124), Mark Pearce (5).
Linesmen-Travis Gawryletz (110), Cody Wanner (56).