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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (

Calgary’s Chase Clayton had the hat-trick to propel the Hitmen to a 9-4 drubbing of the Victoria Royals in WHL action on Tuesday evening.

January 3, 2012, Victoria, BC – Please don’t be alarmed by the above headline England, Buckingham Palace is safe.
The same can not be said for Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre however, which came under attack Tuesday evening when the Calgary Hitmen used six different snipers, including a hat-trick from Chase Clayton, to take out the Victoria Royals 9-4 in Western Hockey League action.
IMG 6475Brett Cote and the rest of the Victoria Royals had a hard time chasing down Calgary’s Chase Clayton as he would get the hat-trick in the Hitmen’s 9-4 win.
Playing under the shadow of newly installed video screens, the Royals and the crowd of just over 5,200 very quickly got to use them to watch replays of two early Hitmen goals, the first by Chase Clayton at 2:49 and the second by Cody Sylvester at 3:20.
IMG 6255Calgary’s leading scorer, Cody Sylvester would have a goal and two assists on the evening. 
The Royals would respond at the 7:39 mark when Logan Nelson tapped home his first of the night on the power-play, but before the period was out, the Hitmen would put two more past Royals starting goalie Jared Rathjen to take a 4-1 lead into the intermission.  Jimmy Bubnick with his 15th of the year would score the Hitmen’s third goal, while Joe Kornelsen would tally the fourth.
Calgary’s Jimmy Bubnick would have a pair of goals and a pair of assists to lead the Hitmen to their win over Victoria.
In the second period, Calgary’s Bubnick would score his second of the evening on the power-play at 11:57 to give the Hitmen a 5-1 lead, but Victoria’s Nelson would notch his second of the game as well just 20 seconds later to make it 5-2 Calgary.
IMG 6460Calgary’s Danny Gale tries to get past Victoria’s Zach Habscheid during the Hitmen’s 9-4 win. Gale would have three assists on the night.
The Hitmen would strike again on the power-play at the 16:27 mark, their third such goal of the evening, as Clayton would notch his second of the night to give the visitors a 6-2 lead heading into the break.
In the third the Hitmen and Royals would once again exchange quick goals, as Calgary’s Brady Brassart scored at 13:29 and Victoria’s Nelson completed his hat-trick at 13:52.
IMG 6454Brady Brassart would notch a goal for the Hitmen in their 9-4 win.
IMG 6439The Royal’s Logan Nelson was the lone bright spot for Victoria on the evening as he would get the hat-trick in a losing effort.
Calgary would stay on the attack and score two more, the first by Alex Gogolev on a nice breakaway at 15:04 and the second by Clayton, his third of the evening, while short-handed at 18:36.
IMG 6288Calgary’s Calder Brooks drives past Victoria’s Kade Pilton in Tuesday night’s action.
The Royal’s Zane Jones would complete the scoring as he banged home a meaningless goal with fifteen seconds remaining to make the score 9-4.
Despite the nine goals, the Royals left Rathjen in net for the duration. He faced 27 shots in total and on a positive note, received credit for an assist on the Royal’s first goal.
IMG 6447Victoria’s Jared Rathjen had another tough night between the pipes, surrendering all nine Calgary goals.
For Calgary, Victoria native and Peninsula Minor Hockey product Brandon Glover got the win, stopping 22 of 26 shots, and in a quirk of the hockey world, was also credited with an assist on one of the Hitmen goals.
IMG 6054Victoria native and Peninsula Minor Hockey product Brandon Glover got the win for Calgary.
The loss was the Royal’s seventh in a row and drops their record to 13-23-2-2, while the Hitmen improve to 20-16-2-1. Both teams sit in 8th place in their respective conferences.
Notes:  The new video screens were working Tuesday evening and despite some picture quality issues and the odd glitch or two, they are a welcome addition to the arena.  Generating the most excitement was a Tim Horton’s “Coffee Cup Challenge” as well as the last 30 seconds of the Canadian Junior game which was shown just as the second period ended.
IMG 6024The new video screens seemed to be a big hit with the fans and are a welcome addition to the arena.