Royals Overcome 3-0 Deficit to Defeat Tigers in OT


By Christian J. Stewart, Photos by Erich Eichhorn – ISN

October 3, 2012, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Brett Cote’s goal at 3:04 of overtime brought the Royals all the way back from a 3-0 deficit and gave Victoria a 4-3 win over the Medicine Hat Tigers in WHL action Wednesday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria.

Things started poorly for the Royals, as starting goaltender Patrick Polivka was beaten at the 1:07 mark of the period on the Tiger’s very first shot by Trevor Cox, one which Polivka should have stopped.

The Tigers would add to their lead at the 13:40 mark of the period, on the power play, when Cox would bury his second of the game, slipping a rebound under the pad of Polivka for the 2-0 lead.

The Royals Brandon Magee would score the Royal’s second goal late in the second period in the Royals 4-3 win – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

At the other end of the rink, the Royals had a hard time getting through the Tiger’s defence, generating just 5 shots on Phoenix Coyote draft pick Marek Langhamer, all of which he stopped easily, allowing the Tigers to take their 2-0 lead into the break.

In the second period, while the Royals picked up their pace a bit, ultimately firing 10 shots in total at Langhamer, it was the Tigers who added to their lead first, with sniper Hunter Shinkaruk snapping a beauty over Polivka’s shoulder for the 3-0 lead at the 13:44 mark of the period.

The Royals Brandon Magee and Austin Carroll camp on the doorstep of Medicine Tigers goalie Langhamer during Wednesday’s action – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Just when it looked like it was going to be a long night, the Royals caught a break just 2 minutes later to get on the board and begin their comeback. Jamie Crooks broke into the zone on a 2 on 1 and went to pass the puck cross-crease, but a Tiger defenseman blocked the pass sending it right back on to the stick of Crooks, who then buried it behind Langhamer to make the score 3-1.

Another break came with just 8 seconds left in the period, when, on the power play, Brandon Magee tipped a Tyler Stahl point shot just enough to redirect it through the pads of Langhamer and just over the goal line to send the Royals into the break down by just a single goal.

Referee Ryan Benbow does his best Spiderman impression to avoid the play during Wednesday’s action – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

In the final frame, the Royals defence stepped up and took over the game, allowing just a single shot on goal by the Tigers, while the Royals offence peppered 13 shots at the Tiger’s net.

The Royals would come close to tying the game on two occasions, the first with just over 13 minutes remaining when Brandon Magee stepped out from the corner and made a strong move to the net that was denied by Langhamer and the second during a 4 shot sequence with 6 minutes remaining that saw Langhamer display the types of saves that made him a 7th round selection by the Coyotes.

Royals goaltender Patrik Polivka struggled early, but would stop 14 of 17 Tiger shots to get the win Wednesday – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

The Royals would not be denied however and with the goaltender removed for an extra attacker, monster defenseman Keegen Kanzig would make a great play to keep the puck in the zone, move it to Ben Walker in the corner, who in turn worked hard to get it cross crease to a wide open Alex Gogolev who put it over Langhamer’s shoulder to tie it up with 1:13 remaining.

Just over three minutes into the overtime period, the Royal’s Logan Nelson swooped in behind the Tiger’s net a worked the puck to defenseman Brett Cote who ripped a shot under the blocker of Langhamer for the game winner, sending the crowd of 4,055 home happy.

Game Notes: Final shots were 30-17 for Victoria. Three Stars were: 1. Trevor Cox – Medicine Hat; 2. Brandon Magee – Victoria; 3. Alex Gogolev – Victoria. Victoria forward Steven Hodges was not in the line-up and is out with a lower-body injury.

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.