Story and photographs by Glenn Ivens – ISN
September 28, 2012, Victoria, BC (ISN) The Victoria Royals took on the visiting Kamloops Blazers in a Friday night matchup at Save On Foods Memorial Center on Friday night. The Royals got a pair of goals from Logan Nelson, one in the shootout, to earn a come from behind 4-3 win.
The Royals, who were looking to prove they weren’t the same team that was ousted from last year’s playoffs in 4 games by the Blazers, started Czech Republic import Patrick Polivka while Kamloops replied with Taran Kozun.
Patrick Polivka had a strong game between the pipes in the Victoria Royals 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Kamloops Blazers on Friday night. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
The Blazers got out to an early lead when Cole Ully collected a rebound and found the back of the net at 8:31. Ully would collect his second of the night, on the power play at 13:05, when he backhanded a ricochet off the end boards past Polivka to give the Blazers a 2-0 lead. Despite out shooting Kamloops 15-6, Victoria went into the 1st intermission trailing by 2.
The Royals took advantage of an early 2nd period power play to cut into the Kamloops lead when on the power play defenseman Brett Cote took a pass from Nelson and fired a shot from the point that eluded Kozun 1:57 in to the period. The Royals again out shot the Blazers, 12-7.
Brett Cote, seen taking Kamloops’ Chase Souto hard into the boards, was rock steady on defense and had a powerplay goal to earn 1st star honors in Friday’s WHL matchup at Save On Foods Memorial Center. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
Victoria would tie the game 5 minutes into the 3rd when Nelson drove out of the corner and slide the puck past Kozun for his 1st of the year. They would then take the lead at 6:39 when a speedy Ben Walker jumped on a loose puck behind the Blazers net and saucered a pass to Russian import Alex Gogolev in the slot, who made no mistake beating Kozun high to the glove side.
Logan Nelson jumps for joy after scoring the tieing goal against the Kamloops Blazers (above) while Alex Gogolev celebrates after putting the Royals up 3-2 (below) in Friday night’s WHL contest at Save On Food Memorial Center in Victoria, BC. (photos by Glenn Ivens)
With just under 5 minutes to play the Blazers would knot the game at 3-3 when Tim Bozon fired a shot that found it’s way through Polivka and slide just inside the post.
The teams were unable to settle anything in the overtime with Victoria’s Nelson getting the best chance when he walked in and fired a shot that rang off the goal post.
Victoria called on Nelson to open the shoot out and he promptly put the Royals on the advantage beating Kozun with backhand to the top corner. Polivka, who later stated he likes shootouts, stood tall in between the pipes kicking out the Blazers first two attempts then sealing the deal with a blocker save to give the Royals the 4-3 win.
Victoria’s Logan Nelson backhands the puck over the outstretched pad of Kamloops’ Taran Kozun for the winning goal in the shoot out. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
Head coach Dave Lowry was please with the results, “I thought as the game went on we made some good decisions and some young guys played some key minutes. I was happy with the way the guys played. We talked about it after the 1st and we still had 40 minutes to play and we were playing one of the top teams in the country, you can’t always play with the lead. Our guys did a good job of recognizing that and I thought the second period was one of the best periods we’ve had.”
Brett Cote was named the 1st star with a solid performance on defense, Kamloops’ Ully got the 2nd star with a pair of regulation goals and Nelson earned the 3rd star. Victoria’s Joe Hicketts was named hardest working player.