February 10, 2013, Spokane, WA (ISN) – In a Sunday night clash at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, the Victoria Royals looked to take sole possession of fourth place in the Western Conference standings as they squared off against the Spokane Chiefs.
The Royals gave Patrik Polivka the start in goal, while the Chiefs responded with Eric Williams.
The Royals would open the scoring on a goal by Jamie Crooks just 2:09 into the game. Austin Carroll gained possession of the puck behind the Chiefs’ net before he threw a backhand pass out to Ben Walker in the slot. Walker quickly passed the puck to the edge of the right face-off circle where Crooks one-timed his 27th goal of the season.
The road team doubled their lead on Jack Walker’s fourth goal of the year. Brandon Fushimi outmuscled a Chiefs’ defender in the left corner and threaded a pass to Walker at the bottom of the left face-off circle. The Edina, MN native quickly snapped the puck past Williams’ glove and gave the Royals a 2-0 lead at the 7:08 mark. The Chiefs cut the lead in half on a shorthanded goal by Dylan Walchuk at 18:01. The Spokane forward leapt out on a breakaway before he slotted a wrist shot high blocker side on Polivka. The Royals held the 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Victoria regained their two-goal lead on a shorthanded strike from Crooks at the 5:15 mark of the second period. After he picked off a pass in his own zone, Crooks skated into the Chiefs’ zone unopposed and unloaded a slapshot from the top of the left face-off circle that beat Williams over the glove.
The physical tone of this matchup picked up when Austin Carroll dropped the gloves with Carter Proft in a spirited bout that saw the Victoria forward earn a takedown. The Royals would take advantage of the momentum as Ben Walker netted a powerplay goal at the 13:50 mark. Jordan Fransoo’s point shot rebounded to the right of the goal and Walker snapped the loose puck high over the sprawling netminder to send the Royals into the second intermission with a 4-1 advantage.
After Garret Hughson replaced Williams in goal for Spokane to start the final frame, the Chiefs made it a 4-2 game on a goal by Mitch Holmberg at 3:21. Polivka stopped the initial shot, but Holmberg was on the top of the crease and poked the loose puck into the Royals’ net. Carroll then extended the Royals’ lead to 5-2 with a great solo effort. The Scottsdale, AZ native carried the puck down the right wing where he fought off a Chiefs’ defenceman and cut towards the slot before he rifled a shot top corner past Hughson’s blocker. Adam Power scored his first WHL goal for Spokane at 9:40, but the Chiefs were unable to draw any closer despite a late push. Victoria 5 Spokane 3.
Victoria went 1/5=20.0% on the powerplay, while Spokane went 0/2=0.0%. The Royals outshot the Chiefs 28-20.
Victoria continues their six-game, 11-day road trip on Wednesday when they visit the Kootenay Ice. Puck drop is set for 6:00 p.m. The next Royals’ home game goes Friday, February 22nd when the B.C. Division-leading Kelowna Rockets visit Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
We are Royal Blue! Are you? Guarantee yourself the best seats for upcoming Royals games by visiting www.selectyourtickets.com, calling 250-220-7777 or visiting the Select Your Tickets box-office at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Mini-Packs, Vouchers and special rates for groups of 10+ are available by visiting www.victoriaroyals.com or calling 250-220-7889.