Matt Human

Prince Albert, SK – In a Friday night matchup at the Art Hauser Center, the Victoria Royals faced off against the Prince Albert Raiders. Victoria started Keith Hamilton in net while Prince Albert countered with Cole Holowenko.

The game got off to a fast start as both teams looked to establish the early momentum. The first quality chance went to Prince Albert’s Jonas Knutsen, who was sent in alone on a breakaway before he was caught by the Royals’ Keegan Kanzig to negate the opportunity. Victoria opened the scoring at 5:41 when Steven Hodges picked up his own rebound, and slid a low shot underneath the right pad of Holowenko for his 14th goal of the season. The Royals’ Jordan Fransoo and the Raiders’ Tyler Hart would drop the gloves in a spirited tilt at the 8:16 mark, with Fransoo earning the decision. Prince Albert notched the equalizer at 11:56 when Mike Winther centered a pass from the bottom of the right circle for Logan McVeigh, who buried a one-timer on the ice past Hamilton. After 20 minutes the score remained tied 1-1.

The Royals were awarded a power play 37 seconds into the middle frame and were quick to capitalize. Stationed in front of the net, Robin Soudek received a pass from Hodges at the right half boards and redirected it past Holowenko at 1:01. The Raiders would make it 2-2 while shorthanded at 6:27 when Winther finished off a 2-on-1 feed from Justin Maylan. Just 26 seconds later, on the same Victoria powerplay, Kade Pilton fired a shot from the left point, through a crowd in front to make it 3-2. Following an altercation, that saw both teams penalized, Victoria received a 4-on-3 man-advantage. Jamie Crooks took a Hayden Rintoul feed at the top of the right circle and let go a wrist shot through a Soudek screen and over the right shoulder of Holowenko. The goal was Crooks’ team-leading 24th of the season. After two periods, the Royals led 4-2.

Prince Albert jumped out to a quick start in the third, netting two goals just 1100 seconds into the period. The first marker was awarded to Anthony Bardaro when his cross-ice feed deflected off the skate of a Royals’ defender and into the net. The Raiders’ fourth goal came off the stick of Tyler Yaworksi, whose point shot beat a screened Hamilton to even the score. Victoria regained the lead at 7:48 after Luke Harrison dished the puck to Austin Carroll, who ripped a shot from the slot over the shoulder of Holowenko. The Royals continued their offensive response when Crooks sent Logan Nelson in alone on a breakaway. The Royals’ rookie made no mistake, beating Holowenko up high for his 1110th of the campaign. Victoria would withstand Prince Albert’s late push to secure the victory. Royals 6, Raiders 4.

Victoria went 3/6 = 50.0% on the power play, while Prince Albert was 0/2 = 0.0%. The Raiders outshot the Royals 32-30.

Victoria continues its road swing on Saturday, January 21st in Saskatoon as they set to take on the Blades. Puck drop is at 5:00 Pacific Time. Victoria returns home on Friday, January 27th when they welcome the Kamloops Blazers to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for a two game set. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. For further details or to purchase your tickets today, visit the Victoria Royals Ticket Office,, e-mail or call 250-220-788110.