Photos by Erich Eichhorn

April 2, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Monday night at Bear Mountain Arena saw the Victoria Royals take on the Kamloops Blazers in Game 6 of their WHL Western Conference Quarter-Final series.

Patrik Polivka was given the nod in goal for the Royals, while the Blazers countered with Cole Cheveldave.

Cole Ully opened the scoring for Kamloops at 3:45 with his first goal of the playoffs. After a scramble formed to the right of Polivka, Ully was able to lift the puck over the outstretched pad of the Royals’ goaltender and give the Blazers the lead. Victoria received a chance to equalize when Jamie Crooks, who was playing in his 300th game for the franchise, was sprung on a breakaway.

Royals Ben Walker puts the body on Blazer’s Needham during game 6 at Bear Mountain Arena Monday nightErich Eichhorn image ( )

Not even an extra Royals defenceman couldn’t help goalie Polivka slow down the Blazers as Polivka would find himself on the loosing end of a 6-2 loss to the Kamloops BlazersErich Eichhorn image ( )

The veteran made a move to his forehand and tried to slide the puck between the legs of Cheveldave, but had his effort denied by the goaltender. Kale Kessy later gave Kamloops a two-goal lead at 17:09. Colin Smith spotted Kessy parked in front of the Royals’ net before the Kamloops forward snapped his fifth of the post-season past the left pad of Polivka. After 20 minutes of play Kamloops had established a 2-0 lead.

Royals big man Kanzig would score his first goal of the playoffs as his back hand shot would beat Balzers Cheveldave glove side for the Royals second goal of the night– Erich Eichhorn image ( )

The Kamloops Blazers would run continous traffic infront of Polivka during game 6 at Bear Mountain Arena. Blazers’ Smith gets in front of Polivka on this Blazer’s goal over the shoulder of the Royals netminder – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

Ben Walker pulled the Royals to within one at 7:08 of the middle frame with a powerplay marker. Jordan Fransoo’s point shot was stopped, but Walker fought through a check to find the loose puck and slip it past the glove of the Blazers’ goaltender. Kamloops responded with a powerplay goal of their own when Kessy scored his second of the night at 13:28.

Blazers Needham would keep the speedy Hodges close most of the night not giving much room to move on the puck, as he tugs on the jersey of HodgesErich Eichhorn image ( )

Royals Jordan Fransoo fights off a Blazer’s check while trying to get puck possesion in the Blazer’s endErich Eichhorn image ( )

Joel Edmunson fired a slap shot from the right point that was stopped by Polivka, but the puck popped loose and was shoveled home by Kessy to give the visitors a 3-1 lead. Keegan Kanzig then notched his first WHL goal on the powerplay at 15:23 to bring the Royals back within one. Positioned on the left wing for the man advantage, Kanzig found himself alone in the slot before Brandon Fushimi hit him with a pass. Kanzig quickly placed Fushimi’s pass under the left pad of Cheveldave. The Blazers reestablished their edge with two more goals from Sam Grist and J.C. Lipon at 17:30 and 18:47, respectively. Kamloops held a 5-2 lead as the two teams headed into the second intermission.

Blazer’s Ranford digs the puck out from Royals Polivka on route to a 6-2 win Monday at Bear Mountain Arena. The Royals would loose the series 4-2, ending their 2013 post season bid – Erich Eichhorn image ( )

The third period began as the Royals mounted a gutsy effort to decrease the Blazers’ lead. Kessy put the game out of reach when he finished off the hat-trick at the 8:50 mark of the final period. Victoria pressed on valiantly in the final minutes of the game, but were unable to pull back from the deficit. As time expired and the fans stood on their feet to salute their team, the Royals’ season came to an end. Blazers 6 Royals 2.

Victoria went 2/4=50.0% on the powerplay while Kamloops was 3/6=50.0%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 43-18. Kamloops wins the best-of-seven series 4-2.

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