Royals burned by Blazers

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Story and photographs by Glenn Ivens (www.javalon.smugmug.com)

 

 The Victoria Royals held their inaugural ‘Pink in the Rink’ night to raise funds for the BC Cancer Foundation on Saturday.

With the Royals coming off an impressive 4-2 victory on Friday night over the Kamloops Blazers, Save On Foods Memorial Center was packed to capacity. The 7006 fans would watch as the Royals split the two game series with a 5-1 loss.

The 1st period opened with both teams determined to set the tone with some physical play. It was Victoria that would capitalize first when newcomer Dakota Conroy floated a backhand pass to Tim Traber who sniped it over the catching glove of Kamloops goaltender Cam Lanigan just over half way through the period. This was followed by a feisty tilt between the Royals’ Jordan Fransoo and Blazers’ JC Lipon a few seconds later.

 MG 9722Victoria’s Tim Traber opened the scoring against the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (www.javalon.smugmug.com)

 MG 9739Royals’ Jordan Fransoo and Blazers’ JC Lipon exchange punches during a 1st period tilt.
Glenn Ivens photo (www.javlon.smugmug.com)

The 2nd period saw both teams trade plenty of chances as they continued to battle. Victoria had a glorious chance to add to their lead when Robin Soudek found Steven Hodges sending him in on a breakaway that was foiled by a rolling puck.

Kamloops tied the game when Tim Bozon walked across the high slot and fired a shot over the glove of Victoria’s Keith Hamilton.

 MG 9904Kamloops’ Tim Bozon is unable to beat Royals’ Keith Hamilton during WHL action at Save On Foods Memorial Center on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (www.javalon.smugmug.com)

The Blazers’ would take the lead less than a minute later when Philadelphia Flyers draft pick Brendan Ranford broke in alone and beat Hamilton for an unassisted shorthanded goal that took the wind from the Royals sails.

 MG 9914Brendan Ranford breaks in on goal alone and would score an unassisted shorthanded goal that proved to be the winner for the Kamloops Blazers.
Glenn Ivens photo (www.javalon.smugmug.com)

Kamloops would add their third goal of the period on the power play late in the period to go into the 2nd intermission with a 3-1 lead.

“We broke down half way through the 2nd period and it carried on from there” remarked Traber after the game, “They don’t give up, they have a lot of skill up front and they work hard.”

The 3rd period saw the Blazers add a pair of power play goals off the sticks of JC Lipon and Brock Balson to round out the scoring and give Kamloops a 5-1 win.

 MG 9976Marty the Marmot attempts to put a hex on the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (www.javalon.smugmug.com)

Hamilton, who made some big saves early in the game, faced 36 shots while the Royals fired 27 at Lanigan.

“We didn’t have that extra, we were turning pucks over in their end, we were a half step off” said Coach Marc Habscheid.

With the win Kamloops sits atop of the WHL with 74 points and are ranked #2 in the CHL behind the London Knights of the OHL. Victoria still holds down the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 4 point lead over the Everett Silvertips who have a game in hand.

The Royals are back in action on Tuesday night when they host the Prince George Cougars at 7:05pm.

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