Royals Drop Close Decision to Chiefs


Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

March 1, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – In a Friday night match-up at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals went up against the Spokane Chiefs for the first of a two game set. The Royals started Patrik Polivka in net, while the Chiefs countered with Garret Hughson.

Mitch Holmberg opened the game’s scoring for Spokane at 3:30 of the opening frame with a powerplay marker. Brenden Kichton took a shot from the right point wide of the Victoria net that bounced out front to Holmberg. The Chiefs’ forward was parked at the left post where he knocked the puck into an open net.

Royals Ben Walker would camp in front of Spokanes Net minder Hughson during Friday night Game one action – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

Logan Nelson pulled the Royals even at 6:31 while on a five-on-three powerplay. Nelson received a pass from Brett Cote at the top of the left face-off circle where he one-timed his 11th of the season past the glove of the Spokane netminder.

Royals Ben Walker would come close as goalie Hughson would have to be sharp from deep in his net – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

Brandon Magee later gave Victoria the lead at 12:15 on another powerplay goal. Cote took a shot from the high slot that was kicked aside by Hughson, but Magee corralled the rebound and flipped the puck into the net. After 20 minutes of play the Royals held a 2-1 lead.

Royals Logan Nelson would be sharp for his Royals team scoring 2 goals on the night in a loosing cause – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

The second period was filled with chances for both teams with each goaltender making key saves. Polivka highlighted the period with a huge right pad save for the Royals on an Alessio Bertaggia powerplay opportunity. The Chiefs would break through, however, as Carter Proft evened the score at 12:56 on the man advantage.

Royals Logan Nelson take a run at his check during WHL action versus the Spokane Chiefs – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

The 18-year old forward deflected a Kichton point shot that squeaked through the legs of the Victoria goaltender. Proft’s tally was the only marker of the middle frame and the teams headed into the second intermission deadlocked at two goals apiece.

Royals #21 Austin Carroll creates traffic in front of goalie Hughson as Hughson tries to find the puck – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

Blake Gal gave the Chiefs their second lead of the game at 6:12 of the final period. Gal picked up a loose puck to the left of the Royals’ net, and slipped a shot between the post and the shoulder of Polivka. The home team pushed back and Nelson notched the equalizer at 13:24 on his second goal of the night.

DR6F9085 1
#4 Jordan Fransoo pins his man hard into the end boards – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( )

Nelson collected a loose puck near the left post and put a wrist shot on target that slid by Hughson before it trickled into the back of the net. Each team pressed to break the tie, but at the end of regulation the 3-3 score sent the game for overtime.

Royals Patrik Polivka stops this Chiefs shot from the wing – Photo by Erich Eichhorn( )

Overtime saw Mike Aviani pick up the game-winner for Spokane at 3:38 of extra time. Kichton took a point shot from the Royals’ blue line that was tipped in front by Aviani and through the legs of Polivka. Chiefs 4 Royals 3 in overtime.

Victoria went 2/5=40.0% on the powerplay, while Spokane went 2/6=33.3%. The Chiefs outshot the Royals 36-32.

Victoria hosts Spokane again tomorrow night for the back half of a weekend doubleheader. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. The Royals will then travel to Kamloops for a March 5th date with the Blazers.

We are Royal Blue! Are you? Guarantee yourself the best seats for upcoming Royals games by visiting, 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 or calling 250-220-7889.