Royals Come From Behind to Down Wheat Kings 4-3 in OT

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart – ISN

October 23, 2012, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Alex Gogolev’s power-play goal at 1:58 of overtime lifted the Victoria Royals to a dramatic come from behind 4-3 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings in WHL hockey action Tuesday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.

The Royals are developing a habit of coming from behind in their victories and this marked the sixth time in the nine Victoria wins on the season that they have done so, dropping behind 2-0 on Tuesday before actually leading 3-2 and then seeing Brandon tie it up in the third to send it to overtime.

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Victoria’s Tim Traber looks for a shot on net in first period action against Brandon Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Wheat Kings would open the scoring at 2:02 of the second period when Alessio Bertaggia would break in alone and be hauled down by the Royal’s Brett Cote and awarded a penalty shot. Bertaggia made no mistake beating Royals starter Jared Rathjen – who looked strong to that point having stopped 9 first period shots – giving Brandon the 1-0 lead.

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Brandon’s Alessio Bertaggia was hauled down on this play by Victoria’s Brett Cote and was awarded a penalty shot, which he scored, giving Brandon a 1-0 lead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

They would make it 2-0 on the power-play at the 9:28 mark, when Eric Roy would walk in from the point and lift a shot over Rathjen, briefly silencing the crowd of 4,663, except of course those in attendance cheering for the Wheat Kings.

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Eric Roy would make it 2-0 for Brandon when he walked in off the point on this play and fired a shot past Royals goalie Jared Rathjen (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Included in that mix were friends and family of Victoria native Jack Palmer, who made his first appearance as a Wheat King in Victoria. Palmer played last season for the Saanich Braves Junior B hockey club and prior to that was a product of the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey program.

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Victoria native Jack Palmer would make his first appearance as a Wheat King in Victoria, finishing the night -1 and with a minor penalty for tripping (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Royals would respond before the period was out, scoring a power-play goal of their own at the 13:13 mark, when Ben Walker would backhand home a rebound past Wheat King Starter Corbin Boes to cut the lead to 2-1.

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The Royal’s Ben Walker would score a pair of goals on the night, including the first that put the Royals on the board in the second period (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In the third period, the Royals would come out flying and have numerous chances to score, but it was not until Alex Gogolev, on a delayed penalty call to Brandon flew in alone at the 11:24 mark and snuck one through the five-hole of goaltender Corbin, that they found the equalizer.

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Alex Gogolev would have another strong night for Victoria, scoring 2 goals, including the game winner in OT (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

On the play, the Wheat Kings were also whistled for a cross-checking penalty that sent Gogolev sprawling dangerously into the boards and the Royals went right back on the power-play.

They would capitalize with just 4 seconds remaining in the man advantage, when Ben Walker jumped into the slot, took a nice pass from Gogolev in the corner and tipped it past Boes at the 13:20 mark, giving the Royals the 3-2 lead.

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The Royal’s Brandon Magee navigates through traffic in Tuesday night’s action (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Less than one minute later, the Wheat Kings tied the game at three on a marker from Tim McGauley. The Brandon forward fired a pass from the left wing that deflected off of a Royals’ defender and in.

While the teams battled hard after that, the game remained tied after 60 minutes of play and overtime was needed.

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Victoria’s Steven Hodges looks for a lane to the net in third period action Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In the overtime period, the Wheat Kings Tyler Yaworski was whistled for a head contact penalty just 27 seconds into the frame and the Royals would make him pay for that, with Gogolev getting his second of the game at 1:58 when he picked up the rebound of a Brandon Magee point shot and buried it for the win.

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Brandon’s Alessio Bertaggia skates past Victoria’s Tim Traber during the Royals 4-3 OT win Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

The Royals Jared Rathjen played extremely well in getting the win, stopping 29 of 32 Brandon shots, including 17 in the second period alone, many of which came on the power-play. Fro Brandon, Boes stopped 28 of 32 in the losing effort.

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Jared Rathjen drew into the Victoria net Tuesday and stopped 29 of 32 shots for the win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Gogolev and Walker, with their two goals each for the Royals were the first and second stars of the game respectively, while Brandon’s Eric Roy was awarded the third star.

The Royals will now head out on the road for seven straight games before returning home on Friday, November 16th to face the Everett Silvertips.

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