Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens (

 The Victoria Royals were hoping the friendly confines of Save On Foods Memorial Center would be just what they needed after a 110 day, 6 games Prairie road trip that saw them go 2-4. Their task would be a difficult one as they faced the BC division leading Kamloops Blazers but solid team defence and some timely veteran scoring lead to an impressive 4-2 Royal victory.

Victoria started workhorse Keith Hamilton between the pipes while Kamloops countered with their #1 Cole Cheveldave.

The Blazers have had the Royals number this season with wins in all 5 of their matchups to date. The 5,51103 fans had little time to warm their seats before Tim Bozon lit the lamp at the 8 second mark then before the goal could be announced he notched his second of the game 7 seconds later.

 MG 110430Kamloop’s Tim Bozon scored a pair of goals in the opening 15 seconds to quite the hometown crowd.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Despite digging themselves an early hole the Royals regrouped and started to apply some pressure of their own and cut the lead in half when Robin Soudek fired a shot from the top of the faceoff circle for his 21st goal of the season with Steven Hodges and Brandon Magee collecting assists.

 MG 110273Victoria’s Robin Soudek (25) and Brandon Magee (18) make things hard for Kamloop’s Cole Cheveldave on Friday night. Soudek and Magee would each record a goal and assist in a Royals 4-2 victory.
Glenn Ivens photo (

“I’m trying to do my best to help out the team I am the oldest guy so I should be in charge a little bit” said Soudek on his new leadership role with the departure of Kevin Sundher.

The score remained 2-1 for the rest of the period with Kamloops out shooting the Royals 17-12.

The 2nd period was one of the Royals strongest of the season as they controlled the majority of the play firing 16 shots on Cheveldave while allowing only 5 on Hamilton.

They tied the game at 2-2 when captain Hayden Rintoul took a pass from Ben Walker and sent a point shot into the top of the net while on the power play.

 MG 11037110Royals’ Hayden Rintoul fires a shot from the point against the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night at Save On Foods Memorial Center.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Walker would then take advantage of a scramble in front of the net and bury a rebound to put the Royals up 3-2 late in the 2nd period.

The Royals added to their lead in the 3rd period when Magee banged in a rebound off a Soudek shot.

After letting in a couple of early goals Hamilton stepped up and played a strong game for the Royals, turning aside 33 of the 35 shots he faced.

 MG 110442Keith Hamilton gets his blocker on a point blank shot from Kamloop’s Chase Schaber during the 2nd period of Friday night’s WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Center.
Glenn Ivens photo (

“It’s one of those things that happens and you just have to forget about it and move on to the next play” remarked Hamilton “the defence played well blocking a lot of shots and the guys came together and we played well.”

Logan Nelson had a strong game throwing the body around and sticking his nose in and letting the Blazers know they won’t be pushed around.

“I think it’s something we need to bring to the table, especially me I know I can do it and it’s going to help the team” commented Nelson on his physical presence during the game.

 MG 110336Victoria’s Ben Walker levels Kamloop’s Dylan Willock during WHL action at Save On Foods Memorial Center on Friday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Friday night also marked the first time fans got to see new comers Jordan Fransoo and Dakota Conroy suit up for the Royals with both players looking right at home in Royals colors.

The teams are back at it on Saturday night at 7:05pm for the Royals inaugural ‘Pink in the Rink’ game. Fans will have a chance to win prizes and bid on game worn pink jerseys in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.