Royals Edged By Rockets In Barnburner

77

Jeff Harris

Kelowna, BC – In a Saturday night matchup at Prospera Place in Kelowna the Victoria Royals took on the Rockets in their fourth meeting of the season. The Royals gave Keith Hamilton the start in net, while Kelowna started Adam Brown.

The Rockets opened the scoring at the 6:40 mark of the first period. Damon Severson knocked down a Royals clearing attempt at the right point. He let a wrist shot fly that Hamilton stopped, but Tanner Moar was on the doorstep and slipped the rebound into the back of the net. Victoria’s Keegan Kanzig and Tyrell Goulbourne dropped the gloves just after the halfway point of the first in a spirited bout. Kelowna’s Brett Bulmer made it 2-0 when he threw a centering pass off the left half wall and the puck ricocheted of a Royals’ skate and through the legs of Hamilton. The score would remain 2-0 through 20 minutes.

Victoria received an early power play opportunity to start the second. Jamie Crooks received a pass at the top of the left face-off circle, and he strode in and wired a shot that deflected of Robin Soudek and into the cage to cut the lead to 2-1. At 4:31 of the period, Soudek was slashed on a breakaway that resulted in the Royals’ second power play. Victoria would capitalize when Hayden Rintoul let a shot go from the right point and Brandon Magee put in the rebound to tie the game 2-2. The Royals would take the lead 52 seconds later. Mike Forsyth intercepted a breakout pass at the Kelowna blueline. He fed a quick pass to send Logan Nelson in on a breakaway. Nelson made a strong move to his backhand and roofed a shot for the 3-2 lead. Goulbourne and Magee would drop the gloves moments later. Despite the size advantage for the Kelowna player the fight was a draw. The Rockets would notch two goals in 65 seconds to regain the one goal lead at 4-3. The first off the stick of Carter Rigby and Bulmer would notch the second on the power play. Zach Habscheid and Colton Heffley would drop the gloves with both players landing blows. Off the ensuing face-off Victoria’s Tim Traber and Moar would go toe-to-toe. Traber would gain the decision after landing several quality blows. The teams would settle scoreless fight-free hockey for the final eight minutes of the period. Kelowna led 4-3 through two periods.

The Royals tied the game up at the 9:01 mark of the third while on the power play. Soudek fired a cross ice pass through the slot and found Sundher who one-timed it into the net to tie the game 4-4. For Sundher the point tied him for the franchise all-time record with Ryan Howse with 217 points. The Rockets would rebound with two quick markers. Rockets’ captain Colton Scissons would put the home team up by one at 10:38 on the power play. Brett Bulmer would complete the hat trick 74 seconds later for the 6-4 Kelowna lead. Victoria would draw to within one when Zach Habscheid scored his first of the year after he intercepted a clearing attempt and fired a shot from the right point. The Royals received a power play opportunity with 55 seconds left on the clock. With Hamilton pulled Victoria pressed to tie the game. Jamie Crooks found the puck in the slot beat Brown high, but time had expired just as Crooks let the shot go and the goal did not count. Rockets 6 Royals 5.

Victoria went 3/5=60.0% on the power play, while Kelowna was 2/6= 33.3%. The Rockets outshot the Royals 29-24.

Victoria returns home for a two game set against the Kamloops Blazers. Game one goes Tuesday, November 29th followed by game two the next night. Game time for both matchups is 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.

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