by Corey St. Laurent
February 17, 2014, Moose Jaw, SK (ISN) – The Victoria Royals travelled to Moose Jaw on Monday afternoon to take on the Warriors as the club continued its Eastern Conference road trip.
The club looked to extend its unbeaten streak to 13 games and its road winning streak to eight. The Royals gave Patrik Polivka the nod in net, while the Warriors turned to Zach Sawchenko.
The Warriors benefited from a fortunate bounce in front of Polivka as Tanner Eberle opened the scoring for the home side 3:01 into the game. Polivka bounced back with a fantastic right pad save on Brayden Point minutes later to slow Moose Jaw’s attack. Joe Hicketts tied the game for the Royals at 11:18 with his sixth goal of the year. In his first game against his former team, Travis Brown spotted Hicketts at the left point where the Kamloops, BC native hammered a slap shot over the glove of Sawchenko. The Warriors regained the lead with 50 seconds to go in the frame on a goal by Jesse Forsberg and Victoria trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes.
Sawchenko was forced to make a number of key saves for Moose Jaw as the Royals earned a pair of powerplays in the first half of the second period. Victoria was unable to score on the man advantages, but carried the play throughout the middle frame in search of the equalizer. After two periods of play, the Warriors continued to hold a 2-1 lead.
Austin Carroll tied the game for the Royals with his team-leading 30th goal of the year just 3:03 into the third period. The puck came to rest at the right post before Carroll jammed it loose and across the line to make it a 2-2 game. Brown picked up his second assist of the night on Carroll’s marker. At the 8:23 mark, Axel Blomqvist gave Victoria the lead when he deflected home Brandon Magee’s slap shot from the left wing on a powerplay. The Royals continued to force the action as Ryan Gagnon laid a big body check on a Warrior that led to another Blomqvist scoring chance just past the midway point of the period. Moose Jaw would knot the game at three on a goal by Jack Rodewald at 15:58 and the tie stood as time expired in regulation to send the game to overtime.
Magee drew a tripping call early in overtime to send Victoria to a powerplay, but the visitors were unable to capitalize. Both goaltenders made key saves as the two sides traded scoring opportunities and a shootout was required. Moose Jaw elected to shoot first and round one began with a miss from Point. Logan Nelson shot first for the Royals and slid home a nifty deke to his backhand to give Victoria the edge. Polivka then turned aside Torrin White’s attempt in the second round which gave Jack Walker a chance to win the game for the Royals. Walker made a quick move to his backhand and buried a perfect shot over the glove of Sawchenko to seal the win for Victoria and push the club’s road winning streak to seven. Victoria 4 Moose Jaw 3, in a shootout.
Victoria went 1/5= 20.0% on the powerplay, while Moose Jaw went 0/3= 0.0%. The Warriors outshot the Royals 34-33.
The Royals are now undefeated in a franchise-record 13 games and will continue a five-game Eastern Conference road trip Wednesday in Brandon, MB. Puck drop on Wednesday is set for 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Victoria returns to Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Friday, March 7th.
Royals 2014-15 season tickets are on sale now! Take advantage of our special early bird offer! Receive complimentary tickets for all remaining 2013-14 home games when you place your deposit on season tickets for next season. Current season ticket holders are also eligible for over $6,000 in prizes when they renew their seats before March 14th! Guarantee the BEST seats at the BEST prices with the BEST benefits for all 36 home games by visiting www.victoriaroyals.com or calling 250-220-7889.