Story and Photos by Glenn Ivens – (www.javalon.smugmug.com)
The Victoria Royals Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek put on a clinic Saturday night, scoring 5 points apiece in a 7-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds.
Sundher Starts the Show
Sundher, who was recently selected to represent Team WHL in the Subway Super Series, tallied 4 goals and an assist while Soudek had a goal and 4 assists to pace the Royals. Captain Hayden Rintoul also had a multi point game with a goal and 2 assists.
“My line mates really played well and made it possible for me to find the back of the net,” said Sundher, “the entire team played really well tonight, we were defensively responsible and we came to play the full 60 minutes.”
The Royals got out of the gate early tonight scoring 1:01 into the game, when Sundher fired a shot from the slot that beat Thunderbirds goaltender Calvin Pickard stick side. The Thunderbirds answered back 2:58 later when Branden Troock beat Victoria’s Keith Hamilton on the power play.
Victoria went back up by one when Sundher cut to the slot and notched a power play marker to send them into the 1st intermission up 2-1 despite being outshot 14-8.
Royals Dominate the 2nd.
The 2nd period went all the Royals way when they capitalized on the power play 3 times. With Seattle’s Kyle Verdino in the box for roughing the Royals Steven Hodges sent a missile low to the glove side on Pickard 2:25 into the period. The Royals went back on the power play 20 seconds later and Sundher recorded his first WHL hat trick to stake a 4-1 Royals lead.
Soudek got his 4th point of the night when he fired a shot from just inside the blue line that eluded Pickard. The Thunderbirds replaced Pickard with Daniel Cotton but the Royals weren’t done yet. Rintoul fired a howitzer from the point for his 3rd point and the Royals 4th power play goal of the night. The Royals outshot the Thunderbirds 16-7 and went into the break up 6-1.
Sundher added his 4th goal of the night when the puck crossed the line and he was credited with the goal. “Too be honest I’m not sure how it went in I was just driving to the net there was a bit of a scramble and it ended up in the net,” remarked Sundher after the game.
The Thunderbirds managed to add two more goals from Brad Deagle and Luke Lockhart to cut into the lead but it wasn’t enough as the Royals skated to their 9th win of the season. The Royals again outshot Seattle 9-6 in the period for a game total of 33-27. The Royals were 4 for 9 on the power play while the Thunderbirds went 1 for 4.
“We just played 6 games in 9 nights and I think tonight was one of our better games” said Head Coach/General Manager Marc Habscheid. “We talked about playing disciplined, not only in penalties but in structure and playing winning hockey. The guys played determined and did real well tonight.”
The Royals blue line may get a boost next weekend when Habscheid hinted that injured players Zach Habscheid and Tyler Stahl are both close to returning to action and one of them maybe in the line up when they host the Vancouver Giants November 4th and 5th.