Hicketts and Cote Have 2 Point Nights as Royals Shut Down Rockets 4-1

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Maple Ridge, BC (ISN) – Defencemen Joe Hicketts and Brett Cote each had a 2 point night to help lead the Victoria Royals to a 4-1 win over the Kelowna Rockets in WHL pre-season play in Maple Ridge.  The win was the first for the Royals in the pre-season.

In a Friday night pre-season contest, the Victoria Royals played host to the Kelowna Rockets at Planet Ice in Maple Ridge, BC. The Royals started Calgary, AB native Coleman Vollrath in goal while the Rockets gave the nod to Jordon Cooke.

The Royals would register the majority of shots through the opening 10 minutes of the first period, but would have to wait until the 13:11 mark to solve the Kelowna netminder. Zane Jones recorded his first goal of the pre-season to give Victoria the one-goal advantage while Dakota Conroy picked up the assist. The Royals then rode the 1-0 lead into the locker room, allowing only two first period shots against in the process.

Kelowna would capitalize just 2:40 into the middle frame with a powerplay tally to level the score before the Royals’ offence started to click. Ben Walker restored the Victoria lead on the powerplay at 8:30 with the helpers going to Brett Cote and Joe Hicketts. Less than two minutes later, and after Jared Rathjen relieved Vollrath in the Royals’ net, Brandon Magee potted another powerplay marker from Joe Hicketts. At the 11:54 mark, Brett Cote slotted his first goal of the pre-season to give the Royals a 4-1 lead and cap off a three-and-a-half minute stretch in which Victoria lit the lamp three times. Mitch Deacon and Brandon Fushimi were credited with the assists on the Cote goal. The Rockets were unable to put a dent in the three-goal Victoria lead as the second period came to a close.

In a chippy, tough affair that saw 119 total minutes in penalties assessed to both teams, the final period offered each team a chance to capitalize with the man advantage. Both goaltenders would be solid, however, with Rathjen turning away all 14 shots he faced on the night for the Royals to preserve the win. Victoria 4 Kelowna 1.

Victoria went 2/8 = 25.0% on the powerplay, while Kelowna was 1/8 = 12.5%. The Royals outshot the Rockets 28-22.

Victoria will head to Prospera Place in Kelowna, BC tomorrow for a pre-season rematch against the Rockets. Puck drop is 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 www.victoriaroyals.com, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing tickets@victoriaroyals.com before it’s too late!

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