Royals Fall on the Road to Spokane 5-3


October, 5th, 2012 – The Victoria Royals began their first Washington road trip of the season with a 5-3 loss to the Spokane Chiefs at Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane.

Victoria gave Patrik Polivka the start in net while the Chiefs countered with Eric Williams.

Spokane opened the scoring in the first period on a powerplay marker from Mitch Holmberg. Brenden Kichton fed a pass to Holmberg at the top of the right circle and the Chiefs’ forward fired a shot that beat a screened Polivka through the legs at the 9:21 mark. Victoria answered with a powerplay goal of their own just over one minute later when defenceman Brett Cote directed a puck on net from the right point. Royals’ forward Jamie Crooks tipped the point shot past Williams for his second goal in as many games. Tempers flared before the end of the period as Victoria forward Luke Harrison and Spokane’s Reid Gow squared off. The score remained tied 1-1 heading into the first intermission.

The Chiefs capitalized on an early two-man advantage early in the second frame as Holmberg notched his second of the game to increase Spokane’s lead to 2-1 at the 38 second mark of the period. Defenceman Jason Fram found an unmarked Holmberg at the right circle before the Spokane forward wired a one-timer past the blocker of Polivka. The Chiefs added another tally before the halfway mark of the second period. Kichton entered the Victoria zone before firing the puck to the front of the Royals’ net. The centering attempt deflected off a Victoria defenceman and slid past Polivka. After 40 minutes, Spokane held a 3-1 lead.

The Royals came out hard in the third period and cut the Spokane lead to one just 21 seconds into the frame. Logan Nelson corralled a clearing attempt at the Spokane blue line before finding Austin Carroll in the slot. The Victoria forward made a move to his backhand that beat Williams under the right pad. Kichton notched his second goal of the night to put the Chiefs up 4-2 at the 11:07 mark of the final stanza. The 20-year-old defenceman accepted a pass from Todd Fiddler at the blueline and launched a one-timer that beat the Victoria netminder inside the left post. Brandon Magee would cut the lead to 4-3 at the 16:57 mark of the third period. From the top of the crease, the Royals’ forward tipped a Ben Walker point shot past a screened Williams. That would be as close as Victoria would come as Spokane would add an empty net tally to seal the win after the Royals generated multiple scoring chances in the dying moments. Spokane 5 Victoria 3.

Victoria went 1/6 = 16.7% on the power play, while Spokane was 4/4 = 100.0%. The Chiefs outshot the Royals 31-27.

The Royals now travel to Kennewick, Washington to face the Tri-City Americans tomorrow night before concluding a three-game road swing on Sunday when they take on the Vancouver Giants. Puck drop for tomorrow’s contest is slated for 7:05 p.m. while it will be a 4:00 p.m. afternoon start Sunday in Vancouver.

The Royals’ next home game is Friday, October 12th when they host the Kelowna Rockets for the first of a two game series at 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.