Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens – ISN
October 6, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – A spectacular performance between the pipes by Patrick Polivka and a pair of 3rd period goals from Logan Nelson and Brandon Fushimi gave the Victoria Royals a 2-1 decision over the Tri Cities Americans and their first home win of the season.
Both teams traded chances in the 1st period but steady goaltending from Polivka and Americans starter Evan Sarthou would keep the puck from crossing the line.
The Royals penalty kill came up big early turning aside an Americans 4 minute man advantage after Brandon Magee was called for high sticking at 3:54 and then again late in the period to send the teams into the intermission knotted at 0-0.
Jordan Fransoo of the Victoria Royals evades the check of Tri Cities Americans Mathew Gelinas during Sunday’s WHL Matinee game at Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, BC. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)
Polivka would step up and play hero in the 2nd period, turning aside 16 of the 17 shots he would face, as the Americans took control of the play. They would eventually break through, on the power play when Beau McCue deflected a point shot that found the back of the net to put Tri Cities up 1-0.
Royals rookie defenseman Chaz Reddekopp moves the puck up ice during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Tri Cities American’s. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)
Polivka would again play the hero late in the period, making a spectacular leg save on a penalty shot awarded to the Americans Phillip Tot to keep the score 1-0 heading into the 3rd period. The Americans outshot the Royals 17-4.
Tri Cities Brian Williams leans into a shot during the 1st period of Sunday’s WHL match up against the Victoria Royals at Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, BC. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)
A modest Polivka summed up his 1st star performance by saying, “I felt good today, and I focused on stopping the puck and nothing else. It was nice to get the win at home and now we have to build on it.”
A stern word from coach Dave Lowry must have occurred during the break as the Royals came out fired up in the 3rd. Victoria would make the most of their only power play of the game when Nelson potted his 3rd goal of the season, a laser to the top corner from in close to tie the game 1-1.
Royals veteran forward Brandon Magee looks for an opening against the Tri Cities Americans on Sunday afternoon. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)
The Royals would take a 2-1 lead just over half way through the 3rd period after Fushimi banged home a shot from on the doorstep. The Americans pressed but Polivka was equal to the task. Late in the period, he slid across with every inch of his right leg extended to rob the Americans of what looked like a sure goal.
Victoria’s Luke Harrison cuts for the front of the net during WHL action at Save On Foods Memorial Centre on Sunday afternoon. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)
Tri Cities pulled out all the stops going with 6 attackers with 2 minutes to play but the Royals defense stood tall to preserve the 2-1 win.
“We played really well in the 1st period, we knew they were going to be better in the 2nd and we didn’t have an answer, our goaltender bailed us out. that is the type of things we need from Patty. In the 3rd we got back to doing the things we need to do to be good, skating and finishing checks, we got the power play and the guys made the most of it” was how coach Lowry summed his team’s performance.
Patrick Polivka was outstanding between the pipes on Sunday afternoon, coming up with numerous big saves, and earning the games 1st star. (photo by Glenn Ivens – ISN)
The Royals now sit at 4-5 on the season and are back in action next weekend when they take on the 1-4 Lethbridge Hurricanes for a two game set.