September 28, 2013, Kelowna, BC – The Victoria Royals defeated the Kelowna Rockets 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna, handing the Rockets its first loss of the Western Hockey League season.
The Victoria Royals kicked off a four-game road trip with a test against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on Saturday night. The Royals gave Coleman Vollrath his first start of the season, while the Rockets countered with Jordon Cooke.
Kelowna opened the scoring 8:03 into the first period when Zach Franko placed a quick one-timer past the glove of Vollrath from the low slot. The two teams exchanged powerplay opportunities, but it was Royals’ forward Landon Welykholowa who struck next when he picked up his first career WHL goal at even strength. Regan Nagy fired a shot that was turned aside by Cooke before Welykholowa banged in the rebound at the 18:15 mark. The score remained 1-1 after the first period of play.
The Rockets made it 2-1 when Rourke Chartier converted on a two-on-one rush 3:47 into the second period. Vollrath was sharp all period, making 19 saves in the frame, but Myles Bell extended Kelowna’s lead with just 45 seconds left in the middle stanza off of a hard wrist shot from the left point. The Rockets carried a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Trent Lofthouse notched his first of the year for the Royals 4:19 into the third period while on the powerplay. The Surrey, BC native launched a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle past Cooke’s glove to make it a one-goal game. Victoria continued to press for the equalizer and were rewarded when Brandon Fushimi tied the game at the 15:13 mark. Fushimi found a loose puck in the slot and blasted a shot high over the glove of the Rockets’ netminder. The Royals and Rockets finished regulation time knotted at 3-3 and headed to overtime.
Chances from each side kept both goalies busy in overtime, but neither team could end the game and a shootout was needed. The first round of shooters saw both Bell and Victoria’s Logan Nelson convert. In the second round of shooters, the Rockets’ Damon Severson and Royals’ Jack Walker both found the back of the net to keep it tied. Vollrath then stoned Kelowna’s Zach Franko which gave Ben Walker the chance to give Victoria the win. Ben Walker sealed the victory with a pretty forehand deke under the left pad of Cooke and sent the visitors away with two points. Royals 4 Rockets 3 in a shootout.
Victoria went 1/7= 14.3% on the powerplay, while Kelowna went 0/4= 0.0%. The Royals and Rockets finished the game with 32 shots each.
The Royals will continue their four-game road trip with a doubleheader Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Prince George. The puck drops on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the CN Centre against the Cougars.
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.