Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 24, 2012, Victoria, BC – After being pulled from Friday night’s 5-4 loss to Prince George, Royals goaltennder Patrik Polivka – who stopped 31 of 33 shots – and his teammates, rebounded for a gritty 3-2 win over the Cougars in WHL action Saturday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Leading the way for the Royals was flashy forward Ben Walker, who after missing on a penalty shot opportunity early in the first period, would come back to score a pair of goals in the first period to pace the Royals attack.
Royals defenceman Jack Walker carries the puck out of his zone during Saturday night’s action vs Prince George (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Cougar’s would actually open the scoring on the night, when just over two minutes after Walker’s penalty shot, the Cougar’s Raymond Grewal would notch his first WHL goal. On a Prince George powerplay, Daulton Siwak grabbed a loose puck from behind the Victoria net and chipped it out front to Grewal who snapped it past Polivka.
Prince George’s Daulton Siwak lets a shot fly during the Cougars 3-2 loss to Victoria. Siwak would earn an assist on the Cougars first goal (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Walker would level the score for the Royals at 10:39 of the frame. The Royals’ forward corralled the puck near the right faceoff circle before he spun and fired it through the legs of Cougar’s starter Brett Zarowny.
Victoria defenceman Ryan Gagnon carries the puck out of his zone during second period action Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Victoria then took the lead at 13:05 courtesy of Walker’s second tally of the night. Logan Nelson flew down the right wing and spotted Alex Gogolev in the slot. The Russian forward fed a backdoor pass to Walker who tapped the puck in to finish off a crisp passing play. The Royals held a 2-1 advantage after 20 minutes of play.
The Royals Ben Walker would snipe two first period goals Saturday night to lead Victoria to a 3-2 win over Prince George (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Cougars tied the game at 8:28 of the second period on a goal from Jarrett Fontaine. Chase Witala took a shot from the right point that was stopped by Polivka, but Fontaine was able to jam the rebound underneath the Victoria goaltender.
A back-and-forth third period saw each team generate quality scoring chances, but both Polivka and Zarowny stood tall in their respective nets. It wasn’t until the 17:04 mark that a go-ahead goal would be found.
After being pulled Friday, the Royals Patrik Polivka would stop 31 of 33 shots Saturday to earn the 3-2 win over Prince George (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
After Brandon Magee initiated the rush with a shot at the net, the puck was cleared back to Brett Cote at the point. As a crowd formed in front of the Prince George net, the Royals’ defenceman ripped a slapshot into the back of the net stick side past the screened Zarowny, bringing the 4,803 fans in attendance to their feet.
Brandon Magee of the Royals would initiate a rush into the Cougar’s end that would ultimately lead to the Royals winning goal on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Prince George pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker with less than a minute to play, but Cote’s goal stood up as the game-winner and the Royals came away with the 3-2 win.
Game Notes: Victoria went 0/1= 0.0% on the powerplay, while Prince George went 1/6= 16.7%. The Cougars outshot the Royals 33-28. Captain Tyler Stahl sat out his second game of a 2-game suspension Saturday.
Victoria’s Logan Nelson would chip in a pair of assists in the 3-2 win over Prince George on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Royals’ next home game is on Tuesday, November 27th as the team welcomes the Moose Jaw Warriors. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. The Royals Holiday Combo is on sale now! Single game tickets and mini-packs are now on sale. Guarantee yourself the best seats by visiting www.victoriaroyals.com, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before it’s too late!