December 11, 2012, Kent, WA – Austin Carroll recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick in the Victoria Royal’s 6-2 win over the Seattle Thunderbirds Tuesday night at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.

Seattle started Brandon Glover in net, while Victoria countered with Patrik Polivka.

Alex Gogolev opened the scoring for the Royals with his 12th tally of the year at 6:45 of the first period. Ben Walker won a puck battle behind the Thunderbirds’ net before he found Gogolev at the top of the crease. The 20-year-old snapped the puck past the left pad of Glover to give the Royals the lead. Victoria increased their lead to two goals before the midway point of the period. Royals’ forward Steven Hodges gained the Seattle zone and left a drop pass for Jamie Crooks along the left wall before Crooks spotted Austin Carroll alone as he trailed the play. Carroll wired a shot over the glove of the Thunderbirds’ netminder at the 8:05 mark for his sixth goal of the season. Seattle cut the lead in half with a powerplay goal at 18:40. From the right point, Justin Hickman hammered a slap shot on net before Roberts Lipsbergs collected the rebound at the top of the crease. Lipsbergs made a cross-crease move to his forehand and outwaited Polivka as he fired a shot over the right leg of the Royals’ goaltender. Victoria would hold the 2-1 advantage as the teams headed into the first intermission.

The Royals regained a two-goal lead 9:19 into the second period. Gogolev entered the Seattle zone on the right wing and circled back along the boards before he fed a cross-ice pass to defenceman Brett Cote. From the left slot, Cote fired a quick shot that beat Glover inside the far post. After the Royals killed off three consecutive penalties, Crooks increased the Victoria lead to 4-1 while on a four-on-three powerplay at 17:22. Brandon Magee exchanged passes with Crooks behind the Thunderbirds’ net before Crooks walked out front and tried to beat Glover between the legs. The Seattle netminder stopped the initial shot, but was unable to cover the loose puck as Crooks shoveled home the rebound for his 15th goal of the year. After 40 minutes of play, Victoria carried a 4-1 lead.

Connor Sanvido brought Seattle to within two goals at the 10:48 mark of the final frame. After a Jerret Smith shot from the slot hit Polivka’s shoulder and bounced wide, Sanvido corralled the loose puck behind the net and beat the outstretched leg of the Victoria netminder on the wrap-around. Gogolev restored the three-goal lead for the Royals with a powerplay goal and his second marker of the night. After a scramble in the Seattle crease, the puck found the tape of Gogolev who threaded a shot past the glove of the Thunderbirds’ netminder at the 13:57 mark. In a chippy game that saw a total of 120 penalty minutes assessed, Logan Fisher added the Royals’ third powerplay goal of the night with 1:22 remaining in the game to round out the scoring. Victoria 6 Seattle 2.

Victoria went 3/7 = 42.8% on the powerplay, while Everett was 1/7 = 14.3%. The Royals outshot the Thunderbirds 43-31.

Victoria now travels to Red Deer to take on the Rebels on Friday before facing the Edmonton Oil Kings Saturday night in the final two games before the Christmas break. The Royals’ next home game is Friday, December 28th when they host the Prince George Cougars 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!