by Corey St. Laurent, Photos: Kasey Eriksen
February 1, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – Saturday night marked the Royals’ third annual Pink in the Rink game at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.
Victoria played host to the Vancouver Giants for the second consecutive night in front of a sold out crowd of 7,006. The Royals gave Coleman Vollrath the start in net while the Giants countered with Jared Rathjen.
Large gathering of players in front of Jared Rathjen’s net. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Joe Hicketts nearly opened the scoring early in the game, but his shot from the point rang off the right post. The Royals were awarded a powerplay midway through the first period on which Royals’ forward Ben Walker earned a prime scoring opportunity.
Giants’ Carter Popoff and Royals’ Ben Walker. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Walker picked up a rebound in front of the net after Travis Brown’s shot before he took several hacks at the puck, but the chance was denied by Rathjen. The period ended in a physical fashion as the intensity of the B.C. Division rivalry began to show while it remained scoreless after 20 minutes.
Royals’ Brandon Magee and Giants’ Dalton Sward. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Logan Nelson opened the scoring for the Royals at the 5:40 mark of the second period while on a powerplay. Nelson found a loose puck at the top of the crease and managed to get off a shot that trickled through the pads of Rathjen.
Royals’ Logan Nelson and Giants’ Trent Lofthouse battle for the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
At the 12:08 mark, Walker made it a two-goal game for the home side. The Edina, MN native found yet another loose puck near the crease and jammed the puck across the goal line as he was being hit for the hard-earned marker.
Royals’ Brett Cote and Giants’ Joel Hamilton. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Vancouver cut Victoria’s lead in half at the 15:10 mark when Cain Franson put a powerplay tally past Vollrath. Tensions boiled over late in the middle frame as the Royals’ Mitch Skapski dropped the gloves with Thomas Foster before Victoria’s Logan Fisher squared off with Arvin Atwal, but the home team held on to the 2-1 lead at the break.
A goal by Royals’ Ben Walker. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Ty Ronning tied the game at 2-2 for Vancouver at the 6:22 mark of the third when he tapped a bouncing puck past Vollrath. The Royals were awarded a five-on-three powerplay midway through the period, but were unable to beat Rathjen.
Both Giant’s players, Ty Ronning and Joel Hamilton lost their lids during a scramble for the puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
The two teams exchanged opportunities in the dying moments of the game, but for the second consecutive night the rivals were forced to head to overtime to determine a winner.
A Giants goal by Cain Franson getting his team on the board. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
With Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre packed full of fans on the edges of their seats, Joe Hicketts tallied his first goal since returning from injury just 36 seconds into overtime to send them into a frenzy. Hicketts circled out from behind the net and backhanded the puck over the shoulder of Rathjen to seal the win. Victoria 3 Vancouver 2, in overtime.
A scrap between Thomas Foster and Mitch Skapski. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Victoria went 1/7= 14.3% on the powerplay, while Vancouver went 1/2= 50.0%. The Royals outshot the Giants 36-25.
The puck stays out. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Following the game, a select number of Royals players had their Pink in the Rink jerseys auctioned off in support of the BC Cancer Foundation. The seven jerseys auctioned raised nearly $6,500 for the cause. In total, the Royals’ third annual Pink in the Rink netted more than $30,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation!
The Giants score their second. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)
Group together and save! Whether it’s a sports team, co-workers, or family and friends there are plenty of incentives to bring a group to a game.
Discounted rates start at 10 or more tickets, and the bigger your group the bigger the savings. Call for details 250-220-7889 or visit www.victoriaroyals.com/groupnights. Don’t miss a second of the action, playoff packages are on-sale February 3rd!