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Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens – ISN

March 17, 2013 (ISN) – The Victoria Royals Hockey Club has to adapt to new surroundings for the WHL Western Conference Quarter finals due to the Ford Men’s World Curling Championship taking over Save On Foods Memorial Centre. The team will head out to the Westshore’s Bear Mountain Arena for games 3 and 4 and possibly 6. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

At first glance it appears to be bad, as the seating capacity is less then what they are accustomed to and the team hasn’t played a game in this arena all season. Is this taking away the home ice advantage?

Let’s look at this from another angle, it just may be what the Royals need to make it through to the 2nd round. The smaller confines means the arena will be packed, quite possibly to standing room only capacity and if the fans get behind the team, like the Seahawks 12th man in Seattle, we could have a whole new ball game.

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Marty the Marmot puts a hex on the Opposition during WHL action at Save On Foods Memorial Centre. He needs your help to blow the roof off Bear Mountain Arena. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)

Ask any professional athlete and they will tell you it is tough to win on the road and even tougher when you enter an opponent’s building full of loud and boisterous fans. Think back to the old days of the Chicago Stadium when the horn went off to signal a goal, the fans went crazy and it sent shivers down your spine.

The playoffs are a whole new season. They can put the last 16 games behind them. They get to start fresh in a new venue. This is an opportunity for the fans to step up and play a role in the teams success.

If the 3000 plus fans start cheering from the moment the Royals step onto the ice, the arena will be whipped into a frenzy by the finish of O’ Canada and it will make Bear Mountain a very tough arena for the Blazers to win in.

The Royals players will still have to play at the top of their game but if they can steal one in Kamloops then come home and play their game and let the fans do the rest the 2nd round becomes a real possibility.

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Marty will be looking to the fans, for their continued help in supporting and cheering for the Royals during their playoff run. (photo by Glenn Ivens)

The one constant theme mentioned in any Championship is the fans and their support of the team. It takes more than to just show up and fill a seat, we need to let our voices be heard and let the Blazers know this is our town and our team.

So let’s blow the roof off Bear Mountain Arena as we cheer on our Victoria Royals.