Saskatoon, SK – In a Saturday night matchup the Victoria Royals concluded their season long six game road trip as they travelled to Saskatoon to take on the Blades at the Credit Union Center. The Royals gave Keith Hamilton the start in net while the Blades countered with Alex Moodie.
The opening minutes of the game saw Victoria sustain pressure in the Saskatoon zone as they looked for the early advantage. It was the Blades who got on the score sheet first as the rebound from a Duncan Seimens point shot was corralled in the slot by Michael Burns, who snapped a shot over the left shoulder of Hamilton at 10:5110. Saskatoon would double their lead when defenseman Darren Deitz wristed a shot on net from the right point that beat a screened Hamilton just over three minutes later. Victoria responded with a goal of their own 48 seconds later when a loose puck in the slot found the stick of Robin Soudek, who beat Moodie between the legs for his 20th marker of the year. The teams would head to the first intermission with the Blades holding a 2-1 lead.
Victoria had an excellent start to the middle frame, as they notched two goals in the opening 1:17. The first marker came after forward Jamie Crooks stole the puck off of a Saskatoon defender and fed Ben Walker who went cross-ice to Logan Nelson to finish off the play for his 20th goal of the season. Just 38 seconds later, Brandon Magee tipped home a Jordan Fransoo point shot to give the Royals the 3-2 lead. Victoria added to their lead before the five minute mark of the frame when Royals’ defender Kade Pilton fired a shot on net from the right point that was redirected by Austin Carroll to make it 4-2. The Blades cut the deficit in half at 10:56 as Siemens took a pass from Dalton Thrower and fired the puck on net, before Ryan Olsen finished off the rebound. Victoria made it 5-3 as Luke Harrison accepted a pass from Carroll and drove to the net before going to his forehand to slide the puck under the pad of Moodie for the first goal of his WHL career. Saskatoon responded with two goals 28 seconds apart from Thrower and Lukas Sutter to knot the game at 5-5 after 40 minutes of play.
Victoria once again came out strong to start the third period as a point shot from Pilton bounced off the end boards to Walker, who fed Crooks for his 25th marker of the season to give the Royals a 6-5 lead at 2:01. Saskatoon would tie the game while on the power play as Thrower fired a slap shot that found its way through a maze of legs to beat Hamilton at 8:38. The Blades would take the lead just past the halfway point of the period when Kyle Schmidt one-timed a Chris Collins pass from the top of the right circle. Saskatoon would add two empty net goals from Thrower and Michael Burns to secure the victory. Saskatoon 110 Victoria 6.
Victoria went 0/3 = 0.00% on the power play, while Saskatoon was 1/5 = 20.0%. The Blades outshot the Royals 42-28.
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, www.selectyourtickets.com/victoriaroyals, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or call 250-220-788110.