Portland, OR –In a Wednesday night matchup at the Rose Garden, the Victoria Royals took on the Portland Winterhawks in their first game back from the Christmas break. The Royals gave Keith Hamilton the start in net, while the Winterhawks countered with Mac Carruth.
Portland got on the scoreboard early in the game after Joe Morrow skated into the zone and snapped a low shot past the glove of Hamilton at 2:02. Victoria leveled the score just after the five minute mark off of Brandon Magee’s ninth of the year. The Royals’ forward cut into the zone and unleashed a backhand from the left circle that flew over the right shoulder of Carruth into the net. Halfway through the frame, Zane Jones found a loose puck in the crease and looked to give Victoria the lead, but Carruth stretched out his leg to make the difficult left pad stop. With two minutes left in the period, Brad Ross restored the Winterhawks’ lead when he shoveled a loose puck in the slot past Hamilton. Portland took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission
Early into the middle frame, Winterhawks’ forward Ty Rattie received a penalty shot after he was hauled down on a breakaway. Rattie skated in and took a quick shot that sailed past the glove of Hamilton and wide of the post. Before the 10 minute mark of the period, Hamilton made two quality breakaway stops on Ross and Joey Baker to keep the Royals within one. The Winterhawks stretched their lead to 4-1 late in the period after back-to-back goals 22 seconds apart. Portland’s third goal was collected by Chase De Leo after he tapped in a backdoor pass, while Taylor Peters notched the fourth marker after he converted a pass from Baker. With four minutes left on the clock, the Royals cut the lead down to two on the power play. Magee found a loose rebound to the right of the net and slotted it past Carruth for his second of the night. Taylor Leier added a power play tally late to give the Winterhawks a 5-2 lead after 40 minutes.
Victoria put their third goal past Carruth at the five minute mark after Ben Walker got his stick on a pass from Jamie Crooks to the right of the net. The marker was Walker’s third of the season. The Winterhawks extended their lead to 6-3 on the man advantage when Ross added his second of the night off a backhand from the hash marks. The rest of the period saw Portland shut down the Royals’ offensive opportunities to secure the victory. Winterhawks 6 Royals 3.
Victoria went 1/6 = 16.7% on the power play, while Portland was 2/3 = 66.6%. The Winterhawks outshot the Royals 54-32.
The Royals wrap up their two game set with the Winterhawks Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Victoria will then return home to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Tuesday, January 3rd when they welcome the Calgary Hitmen. Game time 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.