Royals Sweep Cougars

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Victoria-Royals-(1)

Photographs by Erich Eichhorn – (ISN)

December 30, 2012, Victoria, BC., (ISN) – In a Saturday night contest at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals took on the Prince George Cougars for the second time in as many nights.

The Royals gave the nod to Patrik Polivka, while the Cougars countered with Mac Engel.

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The Prince George Cougars would chase Royals goalie Polivka from the net Saturday night at SOF Arena as they would score 3 unanswered goals in the first period and a half. (Photo by; Erich Eichhorn – www.allsportmedia.ca)

Prince George opened the scoring at 10:11 of the first period on Chase Witala’s fifth goal of the season. Witala streaked down the right wing before he sniped the puck over the right shoulder of Polivka. Tension between the two teams built as each club exchanged powerplay opportunities late in the first, but neither side could capitalize. After 20 minutes of play, Prince George held a 1-0 lead.

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Victoria Royals winger Tim Traber stick duels with his Prince George Cougars check waiting for the puck to come out of the Royals corner. (Photo by; Erich Eichhorn – www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Cougars added to their lead on a powerplay goal by Colin Jacobs at 4:11 of the middle frame. Witala banged at a loose puck near the right post before it was batted out of the air and into the back of the net by Jacobs. Witala then added his second of the night on another Cougars’ powerplay at 6:28. Troy Bourke released a shot on Polivka, who made the initial save, but the puck bounced into the slot and Witala slipped it past the right pad of the goaltender. This signaled the end of the night for Polivka as Coleman Vollrath took over in the Royals’ net. Tempers flared when Victoria’s 6-5, 242 pound Keegan Kanzig and Prince George’s 6-4, 226 pound Dallas Ehrhardt went toe-to-toe in a heated battle that saw Kanzig come out with the decision. The Cougars carried a 3-0 lead into the final frame.

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More than just bodies were flying on Saturday night as Royals Keegan Kanzig answers the bell delivering a solid right to Cougars #6 Dallas Ehrhardt. (Photo by; Erich Eichhorn –www.allsportmedia.ca)

The Royals got on the scoreboard early in the third as Austin Carroll tallied his seventh of the season at the 0:37 mark. Steven Hodges won a face-off in the Cougars’ zone before Carroll picked up the puck and ripped a wrist shot top shelf over the glove of Engel from the top of the left circle. Jamie Crooks would pull the Royals within one at 10:07 on the powerplay. Crooks controlled the puck at the bottom of the left face-off circle before he snapped a shot high short side to score his team-leading 17th of the season. Brandon Magee tied the score with 2:39 remaining in the game on the back of his 14th of the year. Carroll circled behind the Cougars’ net and took a sharp-angled shot. Engel stopped the initial shot, but the rebound found Magee in the slot and the Royals’ forward punched it in glove side. Neither team could break the deadlock in the final minutes and the game headed to overtime tied 3-3.

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Victoria Royals Steven Hodges would score the game winning goal in a shoot out win Saturday night against the Prince George Cougars. (Photo by; Erich Eichhorn – www.allsportmedia.ca)

Overtime saw the two teams exchange chances, but both Engel and Vollrath made key saves to extend the game and a shootout was needed to determine a victor. Magee opened the shootout for the Royals and made a quick move before he wristed a shot between the pads of the net minder and gave Victoria the early edge. Caleb Belter shot first for Prince George, but lost control of the puck and Vollrath made the save. The next two shooters, Ben Walker for Victoria and Daulton Siwak of the Cougars, were both denied by their opposing goaltenders. Hodges was the final shooter for the Royals and rifled the puck past the blocker of Engel to secure the two points for the home team. Victoria 4 Prince George 3, in a shootout.

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Royals Brandon Magee was the spark that his Royals team needed, tying the game in the dying minutes to force overtime.  Magee would also score a goal in a shootout win. (Photo by; Erich Eichhorn – www.allsportmedia.ca)

Victoria went 1/6=16.7% on the powerplay, while Prince George went 2/6=33.3%. The Royals outshot the Cougars 45-20.

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Brandon Magee celebrates his game tying goal late in the third period.  His Royals team was down 0-3 to the Prince George Cougars until midway through the second period. (Photo by; Erich Eichhorn – www.allsportmedia.ca)

Victoria now travels to Kelowna to face the Rockets on Wednesday, January 2nd before returning home to take on the Tri-City Americans for a two-game home stand beginning Friday, January 4th and concluding Saturday, January 5th. Puck drop for each home game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Season tickets, mini packs and single game tickets are still available. Guarantee yourself the best seats by visiting www.victoriaroyals.com, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing tickets@victoriaroyals.com before it’s too late!

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