Corey St. Laurent
September 15, 2013, Ladner, BC (ISN) – The Victoria Royals travelled to the Ladner Leisure Centre on Sunday afternoon to face the Vancouver Giants in the club’s final game of the 2013 WHL Pre-Season. Patrik Polivka was given the start in goal for the Royals, while the Giants countered with Payton Lee.
The two rivals exchanged scoring opportunities early in the game, but both Polivka and Lee were sharp in net. Victoria opened the scoring at 16:45 of the first period when Logan Fisher capitalized on a broken play. Fisher found a loose puck in the slot before he spun and fired a shot off the right post and in. The goal stood as the only marker in a tightly-contested frame and gave the Royals a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Jared Rathjen was called on to replace Lee in the Vancouver net as the middle frame began. Victoria’s penalty kill unit was effective throughout the second period, killing off three Vancouver chances, but Travis McEvoy eventually found the equalizer for the Giants at the 18:15 mark. Just 1:27 later, the visitors pulled ahead when 2013 WHL Bantam Draft first round pick Dante Hannoun recorded his first goal in a Royals’ uniform. Hannoun broke free on the right wing and redirected a Brandon Magee pass past Rathjen to give Victoria a 2-1 lead as the teams headed into the second intermission.
Hannoun recorded his second goal of the game just 3:23 into the final frame to extend the Royals’ advantage. After Magee entered the zone and dropped the puck for Hannoun at the left face-off dot, the Delta, BC native picked the top corner on the short side to make it a 3-1 Victoria lead. Tempers flared between the two clubs, but Polivka shut the door the rest of the way to preserve the win for Victoria. Royals 3 Giants 1.
Victoria went 1/4=25.0% on the powerplay, while Vancouver went 0/5=0.0%. The Giants outshot the Royals 37-25.
The Royals and Giants will meet again next Friday and Saturday to kick off the 2013-14 regular season. Next Friday’s game will be a 7:30 p.m. start in Vancouver, while the Royals’ 2013 Home Opener will take place on Saturday, September 21st at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Puck drop on Saturday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
We are Royal Blue, are you? 2013-14 season tickets, mini-plans, and individual tickets are now on sale! Guarantee yourself the best seats at the best prices by calling 250-220-7889, visiting www.victoriaroyals.com, or heading down to the Royals ticketing office at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.