Matt Human / Photos by Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Victoria, BC – In a Friday night match up at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals faced off against their B.C. Division rival the Kelowna Rockets in the first of a two-game homestand.
The Royals started Keith Hamilton in net while the Rockets countered with Adam Brown.
Kelowna opened the scoring 30 seconds into the first period when Carter Rigby set up Shane McColgan in the slot who beat Hamilton with a wrist shot under the glove. Both teams exchanged scoring opportunities throughout the period. Hamilton made several key saves for the Royals, including a partial breakaway save off the Rockets’ Cody Chikie. At the end of the first period the Rockets led 1-0.
Early in the second frame the Royals were assessed three straight minor penalties that resulted in a full two-minute 5-on-3 power-play for the Rockets. Victoria successfully killed off all three penalties with Jamie Crooks and Zach Habscheid combining for three blocked shots. Victoria received a power play at 5:56 and would capitalize to even the game 1-1. From the half-wall, Kevin Sundher passed the puck back to Hayden Rintoul at the right point who fired a slap shot just over the right pad of Brown for his 10th goal of the season. Kelowna restored their lead a minute later on the man-advantage when Myles Bell snapped a shot from the right point that sailed through a crowd and over the right shoulder of Hamilton. At 17:59, the Royals’ Logan Nelson skated out from behind the net and fed an open Crooks who one-timed a low shot through the legs of Brown. The score would stand at 2-2 after 40 minutes of play.
Royals Brandon Magee almost catches Rockets goalie Brown on the wrap around
Royals Jamie Crooks trys to beat Rockets goalie late in the third period.
Victoria Royals Keith Hamilton had a long night leting in 5 goals against his hometown Kelowna Rockets
Zach Habscheid lays out to deflect a Rockets cross rink pass
Kelowna regained the lead 64 seconds into the third period when Bell picked up a loose puck and blasted a shot past Hamilton for his second goal of the night. The Rockets stretched their lead to two when Chikie shot the puck on net from the right faceoff dot past Hamilton. Kelowna would add a late power-play goal off the stick of Rigby to round out the scoring. Rockets 5 Royals 2.
Victoria went 1/5 = 20.0% on the power play, while Kelowna was 2/6 = 33.3%. The Royals outshot the Rockets 38-28.
Victoria concludes its back-to-back series against Kelowna tomorrow night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. The Royals will then hit the road for six straight games beginning in Regina against the Pats on Friday January 13th. 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.