Matt Human / Photos by Richard Hyde
Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals welcomed the Red Deer Rebels in the first of back-to-back games Saturday at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. The Royals gave Keith Hamilton the start in net, while the Rebels countered with Patrik Bartosak.
The opening moments of the game saw both teams try to establish a physical presence with some strong fore-checking and several big hits. Red Deer would get on the scoreboard shortly after a power play had expired at the 10:53 mark. Defenseman Alex Petrovic took a feed from Adam Kambeitz and let go a shot from the right point that found its way past Hamilton. The Rebels would add to their lead at 15:11 this time on the man-advantage when a shot from Petrovic caused a rebound that Turner Elson managed to slide past Hamilton to make it 2-0. That would be the score through 20 minutes of play.
Victoria would cut Red Deer’s lead in half just 52 seconds into the middle frame. Robin Soudek took the puck hard to the net from the right face-off dot and tried to slide it between the legs of Bartosak, only to create a rebound opportunity that Brandon Magee finished off to pull the Royals to within one. The goal was Magee’s third of the season. The Rebels would restore their two goal lead at the 3:44 mark. Colton Mayor stepped out of the penalty box and centered the puck for Chad Robinson who found the back of the net. Red Deer would add another marker just past the halfway point of the game when John Persson managed to finish off a pass from Elson to make it 4-1. Victoria responded quickly at 11:38 after a strong offensive zone cycle by the line of Tim Traber, Mike Forsyth and Jamie Crooks that resulted in Crooks wiring a shot from the right face-off dot off the post and past Bartosak. The goal was Crooks’ ninth of the season and 50th of his WHL career. The Royals would pull to within one on the man-advantage in the final moments of the period. Captain Hayden Rintoul fired a shot from the right point that Magee managed to redirect past Bartosak for his second of the game and fourth of the season. The score stood at 4-3 after 40 minutes.
Red Deer regained a two goal cushion 1:43 into the final frame when Justin Weller one-timed a pass from Robinson past the glove of Hamilton for his first goal of the year. Daulton Siwak and Mathew Dumba would add goals at 9:38 and 14:02 respectively to make it 7-3 for the visitors. Victoria’s Steven Hodges scored at the 18:31 mark. Rebels 7 Royals 4.
Victoria went 1/4 = 25.0% on the power play, while Red Deer was 1/5 = 20.00%. The Rebels outshot the Royals 41-20.
Victoria and Red Deer conclude their two game series tomorrow night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The puck drops at 5:05 p.m. Fans are reminded to come celebrate Marty the Marmot’s sixth birthday, with the first 2500 receiving a Marty Bobblehead courtesy of Coca-Cola. Fans are invited to sign Marty’s birthday card at Gate 1, as well as join in a variety of other birthday activities throughout the evening. The Royals’ next home game is set for Saturday, November 19 when they host the defending WHL champion Kootenay Ice at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The action begins at 7:05 p.m. For further details or to purchase your tickets today, visit the Victoria Royals Ticket Office, www.victoriaroyals.com, or call 250-220-7889.