March 24, 2013, Kamloops, BC (ISN) – In a Saturday night contest at Interior Savings Centre the Victoria Royals took on the Kamloops Blazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.
The Royals gave Patrik Polivka the start in net while Kamloops turned to Cole Cheveldave.
Kamloops opened the scoring on Joel Edmundson’s first goal of the post-season at the 13:17 mark. Edmundson accepted a pass at the top the right face-off circle before he wristed a shot on net that beat Polivka over the right pad. Kamloops doubled their lead with a powerplay marker late in the period. Edmundson notched his second goal of the game when he wired a slap shot from the left point that beat a screened Polivka inside the far post at 18:47. After 20 minutes of play the Blazers held a 2-0 advantage.
The Royals appeared to have drawn to within one just prior to the halfway point of the second period, but a Steven Hodges goal was waived off due to goaltender interference. Jamie Crooks then got Victoria on the board at 11:49. The 20-year-old caused a turnover in the left corner before he darted out front of the Kamloops net and roofed a backhand shot to make it a 2-1 game. Crooks’ eighth career playoff goal also saw him become the franchise’s leading post-season goal scorer. The Blazers rallied back with three unanswered goals courtesy of Tim Bozon, Brendan Ranford and Colin Smith to send the Blazers into the second intermission with a 5-1 lead.
Tyler Soy recorded his first WHL post-season goal for the Royals at 7:44 of the third period. Mitch Deacon centered a pass to Soy in the slot before the 1997-born forward snapped a shot over the glove of Cheveldave and brought Victoria to within three goals. The visitors pushed for the comeback and were rewarded with an Austin Carroll goal at 16:10 of the final frame. Jordan Fransoo directed a shot on net from the left point that was tipped by Carroll and trickled between the legs of the Kamloops netminder to make it a 5-3 game. The Royals continued to apply pressure to the Blazers’ defence and clawed to within one late in regulation time. Crooks threw a shot on net from the point before Brandon Magee deflected the puck out of midair and past Cheveldave with 1:44 remaining in the game. Victoria’s comeback was stopped short, however, as Dylan Willick added an empty net goal to seal the victory for Kamloops at 18:52. Kamloops 6 Victoria 4.
Victoria went 2/5 = 40.0% on the powerplay while Kamloops was 1/5 = 20.0%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 29-23. Kamloops leads the best-of-seven series 2-0.
The series now shifts back to the island as Victoria will host Kamloops for Games 3 and 4 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals on Tuesday, March 28 and Thursday, March 30, respectively. Puck drop for both games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena.
Here Comes the Blue! The Victoria Royals take on the Kamloops Blazers in Round 1 of the 2013 WHL Playoffs. Tickets for Games 3 and 4, held at Bear Mountain Arena, are on sale now. With limited Round 1 seats available, Royals fans are encouraged to order tickets quickly by calling 250-220-7777, visiting www.selectyourtickets.com, or heading down to the Select Your Tickets box office.