March 30, 2013, Kamloops, BC (ISN) – Saturday night at Interior Savings Centre saw the Victoria Royals square off against the Kamloops Blazers in Game 5 of their WHL Western Conference Quarter-Final series.
The Royals gave Patrik Polivka the start between the pipes, while the Blazers responded with Cole Cheveldave.
Jamie Crooks opened the scoring for the road team 8:03 into the game. Crooks fought his way behind the Kamloops’ defence and grabbed a loose puck before the Vermilion, AB native streaked to the front of the net and roofed the puck over Cheveldave’s glove. The two teams exchanged offensive rushes late in the period, but neither side could register a marker before the buzzer. After 20 minutes of play Victoria held a 1-0 lead.
The Blazers tied the game on a goal by Chase Souto just 1:28 into the middle frame. Matt Needham gained possession of the puck in the right corner and threaded a pass to the low slot where Souto one-timed it past Polivka. Later Colin Smith’s powerplay goal at 11:54 put Kamloops up 2-1. The puck took a bounce off the boards behind the net and found its way to Smith at the bottom of the left face-off circle where he snapped it into the open goal. Victoria tied the game on a Brett Cote goal late in the frame. With just 39 seconds remaining in the second period, Cote unloaded a slapshot from the top of the left face-off circle that beat Cheveldave high over the glove. The two teams headed into the second intermission tied 2-2.
The Royals retook the lead on Cote’s second goal of the game at 11:25 of the final period. Logan Nelson’s pass bounced into the slot before Cote snapped the loose puck high glove side on the Blazers’ netminder. Victoria’s defence continued to thwart the Kamloops attack with help from the strong play of Polivka who made several key saves in the frame. After the Blazers called a timeout with just over one minute left in regulation the home side pulled their goalie in favour of the extra attacker. With 34 seconds remaining on the clock, the Royals blocked a Kamloops point shot before Nelson broke in alone and potted a goal into the empty net to secure the victory and force Game 6. Royals 4 Blazers 2.
Victoria went 0/1 = 0.0% on the powerplay while Kamloops was 1/4 = 25.0%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 49-25. Kamloops leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.
The Royals will now travel back home to face the Blazers in Game 6 of their WHL Western Conference Quarter-Final series on Monday, April 1. Puck drop for Game 6 is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena. Fans are reminded that the Select Your Tickets box office will be open on Sunday, March 31 and Monday, April 1 despite the holiday.
Monday will also mark a special playoff edition of Money Mart Mad Monday! Fans can purchase a limited number of standing room tickets for just $6.00 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Select Your Tickets box office. Tickets are available in-person only and limited to four per customer.
Here Comes the Blue! Tickets for Game 6 at Bear Mountain Arena are still available, but going fast. Fans are encouraged to order tickets in advance by calling 250-220-7777, going online to www.selectyourtickets.com or visiting the Select Your Tickets box office.