Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens
February 23,2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Royals were looking for the home ice advantage to break a 4 game losing skid as they took on the Kelowna Rockets on Friday night. The Rockets showed why they are ranked #6 in the Country putting together a strong 2nd period in which they scored 5 times en route to an 8-3 win.
The Royals, took to the friendly confines of Save On Foods Memorial Centre after a disappointing 6 game road trip that saw them open with huge victories against Tri-City and Spokane then lose the final 4 while the Rockets were coming off a pair of losses to the Kamloops Blazers.
Victoria’s Kolton Dixon battles with Kelowna’s Cody Fowlie for loose puck during Friday night’s WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, BC. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
The Royals came out fired up in the 1st period, controlling the flow of play but unable to beat Kelowna starting goaltender Jordan Cooke. The Rockets opened the scoring Tyson Baillie slide the pack past the pad of the Royals Patrick Polivka just over the half way mark of the period.
Victoria would answer back 11 seconds later when sparkplug Brandon Magee dashed down the left wing boards and feed Ben Walker on the doorstep, who made no mistake in deflecting the puck past Cooke. The teams would head into the first intermission tied 1-1.
Victoria Royals goaltender Patrik Polivka would appear to injure his right shoulder on this collison with Kelowna Rockets Rourke Chartier during Friday night’s WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
The alarm clock must have gone off in the Rockets dressing room because they came out a completely different team in the 2nd period and dominate the play. Madison Bowey would put the Rockets in the lead at 3:42 and they kept on coming.
Polivka appeared to injure his right shoulder on a collision in front of the net, but would stay in the game. The Rockets took full advantage of adding goals from Dylan McKinlay, JT Barnett.
The game turned nasty when Ryan Olsen put the Rockets up 5-1 on a controversial goal. Polivka appeared to have the puck covered under his legs when Olsen jabbed at the pads the puck squirted out the side and was inadvertently kicked into the net off a Royals defender. A large scrum formed in the Royals crease that resulted in Victoria’s Joe Hicketts squaring off with Kelowna’s Colten Martin. When the dust had settled the officials handed out 62 minutes in penalties with the Rockets coming out with a 2 minute man advantage. Myles Bell would add his first of the game before the period ended with the Rockets up 6-1.
Rocket’s Zach Franko looks for an opening agianst Royals Joe Hicketts during WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
The 3rd period saw Coleman Vollrath replace Polivka in the crease and the Royals cut into the Rockets lead off a goals by Jamie Crooks and Austin Carroll with a power play marker, but the Royals had trouble staying out of the penalty box and the Rockets power play went to work with Myles Bell’s 2nd of the game and Cody Fowlie rounding out the scoring.
Austin Carroll bangs home the rebound to pull the Victoria Royals to within 3 goals of the Kelowna Rockets during WHL action at Save On Foods Memorial Centre on Friday Night. The Rockets would go on to post an 8-3 win. (photo by Glenn Ivens)
The game ended on a sour note when Victoria’s Kolton Dixon was called for hitting from behind and another melee ensued with 46 more minutes in penalties being handed out for a game total of 174 minutes in penalties.
The Royals finished the game 1 for 4 on the power play and 25 shots on net while the Rockets were 3 for 7 with 34 shots.
Logan Nelson, back in the lineup for his first home game after being sidelined with an injury in late December, lets go with a slap shot during Friday night’s WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Centre. (photo by Glenn ivens)
The teams are back in action tonight at Save On Foods Memorial Centre with the Royals honoring the Canadian Forces with special limited edition jerseys that will be available by silent auction. Game time 7:05pm.