Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 17, 2012, Victoria, BC – The Regina Pats received stellar goaltending from Teagan Sacher and a last minute goal from Morgan Klimchuk to grind out a 3-2 win over the Victoria Royals in WHL action Saturday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria.
The Pats, making their first appearance in Victoria in over 18 years, came into the game sporting one of the league’s worst road records (2-8-1) and on the heels of a shootout loss to the Vancouver Giants on Friday night.
The Royal’s Logan Nelson looks for an opening early in Victoria’s 3-2 loss to Regina on Saturday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
After earning a 20 save shutout on Friday against Everett, the Royals Patrick Polivka got the start in goal for the Royals while Regina goalie Teagan Sacher would start in lieu of Regina stalwart Matt Hewitt.
The Royals were gracious hosts to both Sacher and the road weary Pats, who were later than normal in arriving to Victoria today due to ferry delays, throwing only 8 shots on goal in the first period despite a couple of power play opportunities.
Victoria’s Alex Gogolev looks for a way around Regina’s Lane Scheidl during first period action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Fortunately the Pats offense was equally as quiet, generating just 4 shots on the Royals Polivka and the teams went to the intermission tied at zeroes.
The Royals would kick it into gear in the second, getting an early power play opportunity that generated five shots and a goal from Tyler Stahl (from Nelson and Gogolev) that put the Royals up 1-0 at the 2:17 mark.
Victoria’s Tyler Stahl would give the Royals a 1-0 lead early in the second period Saturday with a powerplay goal (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
A second Pats penalty at the 12:34 mark put the Royals on the attack again, but to no avail and the 1-0 lead held until the Pats would respond with just over 4 minutes remaining when a Colten Mayor shot – just the Pats second of the period – found its way through a screen and into the top corner past Polivka.
Regina’s Dyson Stevenson moves into the Royal’s zone ahead of pressure from Victoria’s Tyler Stahl during the second period Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
That goal seemed to awaken the sleeping Regina squad and with some hard work behind the Royals net, they worked the puck to the crease where Adam Rossignol would jam it home under Polivka for the 2-1 lead.
Victoria’s Austin Carroll tries to make like difficult for Regina goaltender Teagan Sacher during the third period Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Given that both Pats goals and all 8 of their shots in the period came in the last 6 minutes, the crowd of 5,797 were understandably silent following the Pats second goal.
The Royals would come out firing in the third period, dominating zone play and ultimately firing 16 shots at the Pats net, but Sacher was simply stellar, kicking shot after shot out and keeping his team in the lead.
The Royal’s Brandon Magee finds his path to the net obstructed by Regina defenceman Colby Williams (5) and Stephan Hak. Williams was called for holding on the play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
However at the 17:28 mark, another fine Sacher pad save off a shot from Austin Carroll resulted in a juicy rebound that Jordan Fransoo buried over Sacher’s glove to tie things up and bring the large crowd to its feet.
Austin Carroll’s shot at the end of this rush would end up on Jordan Fransoo’s stick and in the back of the net for the tying goal late in Saturday’s game with Regina (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Just when it appeared that the Royals would launch another thrilling comeback at home, the Pats would gain control in the Victoria zone and their leading goal scorer Morgan Klimchuk, would dance into the crease and snipe a shot past Polivka with 26 seconds remaining to seal up the 3-2 win for Regina.
Morgan Klimchuk’s goal with 26 seconds left would be the game winner in the Pats 3-2 win over Victoria on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The loss moves the Royals to an even 11-11-0-0 on the season, while the Pats improve to 10-12-1-1. Regina went 0/3 on the power play while the Royals were 1/6.
For his fine efforts in goal (32 saves on 34 shots) the Pats’ Sacher was awarded first star status while the Royals Tyler Stahl and Pats’ Adam Rossingnol were second and third stars respectively.
Regina’s Teagan Sacher (right) is congratulated by fellow Pats goalie Matt Hewitt at the end of Saturday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Game Notes: The Royals loss put a bit of a damper on the night as mascot Marty the Marmot was celebrating his birthday Saturday along with a number of his mascot friends. Former Royal and Parksville native Kade Pilton made his first visit back to Victoria since being traded to the Pats earlier in the year. After his shut-out Friday, the Royal’s Polivka surrendered 3 goals on just 19 Regina shots in the loss.
Royal’s mascot Marty the Marmot celebrated his birthday Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Royals will now welcome the Saskatoon Blades to town on Tuesday, November 20th. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.