Medicine Hat, AB – In a Saturday night matchup at the Medicine Hat Arena the Victoria Royals squared off against the Medicine Hat Tigers in their final game before the holiday break.
The Royals gave Jared Rathjen the start in net while the Tigers countered with Tyler Bunz.
The opening minutes of the first period saw the Royals carry the majority of play while looking for the game’s first marker. Victoria’s best chance came when Logan Nelson broke in alone shorthanded but was robbed on a quick pad save by Bunz. Medicine Hat opened the scoring after capitalizing on their second power play of the frame when forward Curtis Valk stepped into the slot and fired a shot over the shoulder of Rathjen. Victoria responded with a goal of their own at 17:59 of period on a blast from the right point by Jesse Pauls that redirected off a Tigers’ defender. With 18 seconds left in the frame Medicine Hat broke in on a 3-on-2 that saw Scott Mackay drive to the net and slide a back hand shot through the legs of Rathjen to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.
Medicine Hat increased their lead to two at 8:49 of the middle frame after a shot from the point by Matthew Konan rebounded off the pad of Rathjen. The loose puck was picked up by Hunter Shinkaruk who found the back of the net. The Tigers would add their fourth goal on an individual effort by Shinkaruk who came out of the corner and fired a shot over the glove side of Rathjen. Just 30 seconds later, Victoria responded while on the power-play when Hayden Rintoul received a pass from Kevin Sundher on the half boards and ripped a shot that handcuffed the Bunz. The marker was Rintoul’s ninth of the season. After two periods of play Medicine Hat led 4-2.
Victoria applied steady pressure to start the third period as they looked to cut into the Tigers’ lead, but Bunz managed to make several key saves to keep his team in front. A key blocked shot by Brett Cote combined with two point blank saves from Rathjen off the Tigers’ Boston Leier and Riley Sheen kept the Royals within two, but they were unable to close the gap. Tigers 4 Royals 2.
Victoria went 1/6 = 16.6% on the power play, while Medicine Hat was 1/5 = 20.0%. The Tigers outshot the Royals 29-18.
Victoria now breaks for the Holiday season before their next game on December 28th when they visit the Portland Winterhawks. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. The Royals’ next home game is January 3rd, 2012, when they host the Calgary Hitmen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-220-7889.