Royals Sweep Mid-Week Series Against Blazers


With Photos From Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

January 17, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Tyler Stahl’s slapshot goal in the eighth round of the shoot-out proved to be the winner as the Victoria Royals defeated Kamloops 3-2 in WHL action in Victoria on Wednesday.

In a Wednesday evening tilt at Save-On-Foods Centre the Victoria Royals hosted the Kamloops Blazers for the back half of a mid-week series. Victoria turned to Patrik Polivka in net, while Kamloops answered with Taran Kozun.

The Royals first line skate to the bench to celebrate Hodges’ goal with the rest of the team – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Victoria opened the scoring off of Steven Hodges 15th goal of the season 12:40 into the opening frame. From the left wall in the Kamloops zone Alex Gogolev fed a beautiful no-look pass to Brandon Magee in the slot. Magee’s shot was stopped, but the hard-nosed forward found his own rebound and slipped the puck to Hodges who tapped it in from the top of the crease. Victoria held a 1-0 advantage after 20 minutes of play.

Royals Patrik Polivka would have to be sharp as he stops the puck off the cuff of his glove hand. Polivka would record the shoot out win against the Blazers Wednesday night. – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Kamloops would tie the game 52 seconds into the middle frame. Off of a turnover in the Royals’ zone Dylan Willick snapped a quick wrist shot from the top of the right face-off circle that ricocheted off a defender and beat Polivka inside the far post. The Blazers added a second goal at the 14:12 mark after Matt Needham threw the puck out front from behind the Victoria net. The puck took a fortunate bounce off of a skate blade and found the stick of Cole Ully to the right of the Royals’ netminder. Ully made no mistake and tapped the puck past Polivka. The Royals headed into the second intermission trailing Kamloops by a 2-1 margin.

Royals #11 Steven Hodges would score both goals in regulation time for his team to force a shootout win. – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Victoria capitalized on an early five-on-three advantage early in the third period. From below the right face-off circle Gogolev fed a pass to the high slot where Magee wired a one-timer on net. The rebound popped to the right of the netminder and Hodges fired the puck past an outstretched Kozun at the 1:24 mark. Hodges’ second tally of the night drew the Royals level. Both netminders stood tall for the remainder of the period and after three periods of play the score remained a 2-2 tie. Overtime was needed, but would solve nothing and a shootout followed to settle the extra point.

Appreciative Royals fan were treated to a shootout win against the Kamloops Blazers Wednesday night. – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Steven Hodges shot first for Victoria and converted on a quick shot to the high glove side of Kozun. The next two shooters for each club were denied after misses from Kamloops’ Brendan Ranford and Cole Ully as well as the Royals’ Magee and Gogolev. Colin Smith extended the skills competition as the Blazers third shooter with a pretty forehand to backhand move that beat Polivka. Jack Walker then made a beautiful move of his own when he shelved a backhand on Kozun, but Tim Bozon matched his attempt and kept Kamloops alive. Tyler Stahl was the 15th shooter in the eighth round of the shootout. From the top of the hash marks the Royals’ captain unleashed a slap shot that blew past the Kamloops netminder. Sam Grist shot next for Kamloops and made a nifty deke between his legs, but Polivka forced the attempt wide to give the Royals the two points. Victoria 3 Kamloops 2, in a shootout.

In a pretty much identical move to his game winner on Tuesday night, the Royals Jack Walker would beat Kamloops goaltender Taran Kozun with a nifty backhand shot in the shootout – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Victoria went 1/5 = 20.0% on the powerplay, while Kamloops was 0/3 = 0.0%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 33-29.

The Royals now travel to Vancouver for a Friday night matchup at Pacific Coliseum on January 18th. The Royals next home game is Friday, January 25th when they host the Vancouver Giants for a two-game weekend set at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Tyler Stahl would blast this shot past the Blazers Taran Kozun to lift his to victory in a shootout to win . – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

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