Royals Drop Second in a row to Blazers


Maple Ridge, BC (ISN) – Despite a pair of goals from Clay Spencer, the Victoria Royals dropped a 5-3 decision to the Kamloops Blazers in WHL pre-season action Friday at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge.

Friday night saw the Victoria Royals host the Kamloops Blazers at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge, BC for a pre-season clash. The Royals gave the nod in net to Jared Rathjen while the Blazers sent Taran Kozun between the pipes.

After an early Blazers’ penalty call, Clay Spencer notched his first goal of the pre-season for the Royals at the 2:56 mark, just 22 seconds into the man advantage. Veterans Brandon Magee and Steven Hodges registered assists on the Spencer marker. After Kamloops evened the score with their own powerplay strike, the Royals would kill off three more penalties before skating into the first intermission with a two-man disadvantage while the score remained a 1-1 tie.

The Blazers would capitalize early in the middle frame on the 5-on-3 advantage and go on to add another goal before the halfway point of the game. Michael Herringer took the reigns in the Royals’ net at the 12:31 mark of the period after Rathjen turned away 20 shots. Just 14 seconds after the goaltending change, Spencer added his second of the game to cut the Blazers’ lead to one. Logan Fisher and Justin Spagrud were each credited with assists on Victoria’s even strength tally. The teams would exchange powerplays in the closing stages of the frame, but the Blazers would keep a 3-2 edge after 40 minutes.

Kamloops added an early goal to begin the third period, but recent signee and Royals’ blueliner Kolton Dixon would pot a powerplay marker at 3:36 with a shot from the point. Jesse Zgraggen and Luke Harrisson recorded the helpers as the Royals now found themselves down by a goal once again. With time winding down and the Royals’ goaltender pulled for the extra attacker, the Blazers added an empty netter with eight seconds remaining to close out the game. Blazers 5 Royals 3.

Victoria went 2/7 = 28.6% on the power play, while Kamloops was 2/9 = 22.2%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 40-27.

Victoria will head back to Vancouver Island tomorrow before their next pre-season contest on Friday, September 7th when the Royals host the Kelowna Rockets. The game will be played at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge, BC once again with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

The Royals will kick off their 2012-13 home schedule on September 22nd when they will host the Vancouver Giants at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Season tickets and mini-packs are now on sale. Guarantee yourself the best seats by visiting, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing before it’s too late!

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.