Royals Edged by Chiefs

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Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)

March 2, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – In a Saturday night match-up at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals squared off against the Spokane Chiefs. The Royals started Patrik Polivka in net while the Chiefs gave the nod to Eric Williams.

Spokane opened the scoring for the second consecutive night midway through the first period on an Alessio Bertaggia powerplay marker at the 10:11 mark. Mike Aviani was stationed to Polivka’s right and fed a backhand pass between his legs across the crease to Bertaggia who redirected the puck into the back of the net.

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Royals #1 Ben Walker not only made his presence known with a goal but also a crushing hit Saturday night in the second of a back to back series against the Spokane Chiefs – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Chiefs’ lead was eliminated at 17:52 when Jack Walker buried his sixth goal of the season. Walker threaded Logan Nelson a pass on the left wing who made a quick move before he returned it to the rookie defenceman on the point. The Edina, MN native strung a quick shot through a crowd in front and past the blocker of Williams. After 20 minutes of play, the game was tied 1-1.

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Royals #15 Jamie Crook buzzes the net looking to intercept the puck behind the net – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Chiefs regained the lead when they netted a goal after an offensive zone faceoff 4:43 into the second period. Dylan Walchuk won the draw straight back to Todd Fiddler who wired a shot off the crossbar and in from the top of the right circle.

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A young Royals fan employs the use of cue cards to help cheer on her favourite hockey team – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Spokane added to their lead just 26 seconds later courtesy of a bizarre bounce. Blake Gal fired a long shot over the top of the net that ricocheted off the glass and hit Polivka in the back before the puck trickled into the net to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead. Ben Walker grabbed one back for the Royals with a powerplay tally at 11:40 of the middle frame.

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Royals Magee and Hodges rush to the crease hoping for a puck to come their way from the cornerPhoto by  Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Jack Walker began the play in the neutral zone when he hit Logan Nelson with a cross-ice pass to gain the zone. Nelson chipped the puck up to Ben Walker who launched a laser top corner past Williams’ blocker to cut Spokane’s lead to 3-2. Victoria still trailed by one goal as the two teams headed into the second intermission.

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Royals Brandon Fushima screen Chiefs goalie as Jack Walker beats the netminder blocker side – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The Royals controlled the play in the third period as they earned two powerplay opportunities and fired 16 shots on Williams over the course of the frame. The Chiefs’ netminder stood tall between the pipes and forced Victoria to pull their goalie for the extra attacker with one minute left to play, but the home team could not find the equalizer. Chiefs 3 Royals 2.

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Royals Steven Hodges look to the referee for the call after being taken down during first period play Saturday night at SOF ArenaPhoto by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

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Royals Logan Nelson slows up his check with a little help of the stick, placing it undetected across the the wrist of the Chiefs player – Photo by Erich Eichhorn ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Victoria went 1/5 = 20.0% on the power play, while Spokane was 1/1= 100.0%. The Royals outshot the Chiefs 39-29.

The Royals now head to the interior of British Columbia for a doubleheader against Kamloops and Kelowna. Victoria will face off against the Blazers on Tuesday, March 5th and the Rockets on Wednesday, March 6th. The Royals next home game is set for Friday, March 8th when they welcome the Vancouver Giants at 7:05pm.

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.

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