Kent, WA – In a Saturday night matchup at the ShoWare Center the Victoria Royals faced off against the Seattle Thunderbirds in their fourth and final meeting of the season. The Royals gave Keith Hamilton the start in net while the Thunderbirds countered with Calvin Pickard.
The opening minutes of the game saw Victoria carry the majority of play. An early shift by the Royals’ Brandon Magee, Steven Hodges and Tim Traber created several quality scoring chances, but Pickard was able to keep the game scoreless. Seattle would open the scoring with two minutes to play in the first period. Tyler Alos dished the puck out of the left corner to Sean Aschim who recovered the pass at the top of the circle and wired a shot on net that beat Hamilton over the right shoulder. After one period the Thunderbirds led 1-0.
Seattle added to their lead early in the middle frame when the puck came to Alos in the high slot before he fired a wrist shot under the blocker of Hamilton. Moments later on a Seattle odd-man rush, Hamilton slid across the crease to stone Justin Hickman with the left pad. Seattle increased their lead to 3-0 on a 5-on-3 power play at 10:20 of the second period. While on a give-and-go with Kyle Verdino, Colin Jacobs lifted a backhand shot past an outstretched Hamilton. Through two periods of play the Thunderbirds held a 3-0 advantage.
Following an altercation between the Royals’ Ben Walker and the Thunderbirds’ Justin Hickman at 1:39 of the third period, Victoria emerged with a three-minute man advantage. The Royals quickly capitalized when Kevin Sundher went end-to -end before setting up Logan Nelson in the slot who one-timed the puck over the glove of Pickard. A mere 80 seconds later on the same power play, Kade Pilton received a cross-ice pass from Steven Hodges and wired a slap shot from the right point though a crowd in front to bring the Royals to within one. While still on the same man-advantage, Hayden Rintoul collected a pass at the left point from Nelson and ripped a slap shot past Pickard to knot the game at three. The action would go back and forth as the teams searched for the game winning goal, but overtime would be required.
Overtime would solve nothing and a shootout was needed. Both goaltenders would keep the shootout scoreless heading into the third round before Jacobs managed to slide the puck through the legs of Hamilton. Victoria was unable to tie the shootout on their opportunity. Thunderbirds 4 Royals 3 in a shootout.
Victoria went 3/4 = 75.0% on the power play, while Seattle was 1/8 = 12.50%. The Royals outshot the Thunderbirds 38-37.
Victoria continues their current four game road swing this Wednesday, December 14th against the Edmonton Ice, with puck-drop set for a 6:00 p.m. The Royals return home in the New Year to face the Calgary Hitmen on Tuesday, January 3rd for a 7:05 p.m. start. For further details or to purchase your tickets today, visit the Victoria Royals Ticket Office, www.selectyourtickets.com/victoriaroyals, e-mail email@example.com. or call 250-220-7889.