Corey St. Laurent
August 31, 2013, Everett, WA (ISN) – The Victoria Royals continued their 2013 WHL Pre-Season schedule Saturday afternoon at Comcast Arena against the Seattle Thunderbirds. The contest was the second of three games Victoria will play this weekend as part of the Everett Silvertips’ annual pre-season tournament.
Coleman Vollrath got the start in net for the Royals while the Thunderbirds countered with Devon Fordyce.
The two teams exchanged powerplay opportunities to begin the game, but it was Logan Nelson who opened the scoring for Victoria moments after a Seattle penalty expired. Nelson broke down the left wing on a two-on-one before he made a quick move to his forehand and beat Fordyce at 15:55 over the glove. The Thunderbirds responded with an Alexander Delnov powerplay marker two minutes later. Seattle’s Russian import threw a low shot through traffic from the point that eluded a screened Vollrath. The teams headed to their respective locker rooms in a 1-1 tie after the first period.
Just 1:21 into the middle frame, Victoria broke the tie when Matthew Phillips scored his first goal in a Royals’ jersey. Keegan Kanzig found the 15-year-old forward streaking through the slot and Phillips made a quick deke before he slid the puck five hole on Fordyce. Luke Harrison extended the lead for Victoria at 7:38 when Logan Fisher hit him with a pass from behind the net that he wristed under the arm of the Seattle goaltender. Kaden Elder cut into the lead for the Thunderbirds just 22 seconds later when he pounced on a rebound in front of the net. The Royals turned up the pressure as they threw 26 shots at Fordyce in the frame alone, but the score remained 3-2 headed into the second intermission.
Austin Carroll picked up the scoring for Victoria 29 seconds into the third with a powerplay goal, but Delnov responded for Seattle with his second of the night just 1:19 later. At the seven minute mark, Trent Lofthouse chopped the puck into the back of the Seattle net when Fordyce found himself caught out of the goal to make it a 5-3 Royals lead. It was Delnov to answer again, however, as the Thunderbirds’ forward completed the hat trick at 10:15 while on the powerplay. Seattle would tie the game at fives when rookie Matt Barzal slid a puck past Vollrath on the powerplay at 17:28. Regulation time ran out and the game headed to overtime.
In overtime, each team had quality opportunities to seal the victory, but a shootout was needed. Seattle elected to shoot first, but each team’s first shooter was denied. Barzal then scored to put the Thunderbirds ahead, but Ben Walker followed up by ringing a shot off the post and in to even things up. Vollrath and Fordyce exchanged saves to force an extra round and Seattle’s Shea Theodore made good to put the pressure on Victoria. Phillips was called upon to take the shot, but he was unable to beat Fordyce as the Thunderbirds grabbed the win. Royals 5 Seattle 6 in a shootout.
Victoria went 1/8=12.5% on the powerplay, while Seattle went 3/7=42.9%. The Royals outshot the Thunderbirds 56-35.
The Royals will continue their pre-season schedule tomorrow when they face the Spokane Chiefs at Comcast Arena. Puck drop is set for 11:30 a.m. The Royals’ only home pre-season contest will come Saturday, September 14th when the club welcomes the Vancouver Giants to Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. An afternoon puck drop is slated for 1:35 p.m.
We are Royal Blue, are you? 2013-14 season ticket packages starting from $414 are on sale now! To guarantee yourself the best seats at the best prices call 250-220-7889, visit www.victoriaroyals.com, or head down to the Victoria Royals Ticketing Office located at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.