Kamloops, BC (ISN) – The Kamloops Blazers jumped out to a 6-1 lead and held on for a 7-4 win over the Victoria Royals in Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal. The Blazers now lead the best of seven series 2-0.
In a Saturday night match-up at the Interior Savings Centre, the Victoria Royals took on the Kamloops Blazers in game two of the best of seven Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series. Victoria gave Keith Hamilton the start in net while Kamloops gave the nod to Cole Cheveldave.
Cheveldave turned away all nine of the Royals’ shots in the opening frame, while Hamilton stopped 19 from Kamloops. The Blazers would find a solution to the Victoria netminder and open the scoring with less than a minute left in the first frame. Jordan Depape capitalized after being awarded a penalty shot as he wired a shot over the glove of Hamilton After 20 minutes of play, the Blazers held a 1-0 lead.
Kamloops added their second of the night 38 seconds into the second period on a goal from Tim Bozon. The Blazers’ forward picked up a rebound in front of the net and slid the puck past Hamilton. Jamie Crooks responded for the Royals less than three minutes later when he found the back of the net. Crooks collected a cross-ice pass from Steven Hodges before he cut in alone and put one past Cheveldave. Kamloops would add two back-to-back goals half way through the period before Victoria made a goaltending change and replaced Hamilton with Jared Rathjen. Kamloops netted two more before the end of the period from Dylan Willick and Cole Ully to take a 6-1 lead into the final frame.
Austin Carroll buried the Royals’ second goal of the night at 3:07 of the third period. Carroll picked up a point-shot rebound off the endboards and slid the puck past Cheveldave on the stick side. Victoria cut the lead in half at 14:15 on a goal from Robin Soudek. The Royals’ forward broke out of the left corner before he wristed a shot from the top of the circle that found the back of the Blazers’ net. Depape responded with his second of the night for the Blazers at 16:37. Taylor Crunk would add Victoria’s fourth marker at 18:14 when he netted his first ever WHL goal. The Royals’ forward deflected a pass from Ben Walker past Cheveldave to round out the scoring. Blazers 7 Royals 4.
Victoria went 0/5 = 0.00% on the power play, while Kamloops was 2/7 = 28.57%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 53-28.
The first WHL playoff games in Victoria since 1989 will be played this Tuesday, March 27th and Wednesday, March 28th, which are games three and four of the series. Single game tickets for the 2012 WHL Playoffs are now on sale at the Select Your Tickets box office located at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Tickets can be purchased at the Select Your Tickets box office, online at selectyourtickets.com or over the phone at (250)220-7777. Group rates for playoff tickets are also available, starting as low as $10 per ticket.
For more information or to purchase your tickets today, please visit the Victoria Royals Ticket Office, www.victoriaroyals.com, or call 250-220-7889.