by Corey St. Laurent, Photos: Kasey Eriksen (ISN)

March 14, 2014, Victoria (ISN) – On Friday night at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals hosted the Everett Silvertips in front of the club’s third consecutive sellout crowd. The Royals gave Patrik Polivka the start in net, while the Silvertips looked to Austin Lotz.

The Silvertips opened the scoring at the 11:26 mark of the first period when Noah Juulsen’s point shot made its way past a screened Polivka. Victoria’s Jordan Fransoo looked to spark his club just over three minutes later when he dropped the gloves with Everett’s Jujhar Khaira and earned the decision. The bout was followed by more physical play from the Royals, but after 20 minutes the home side trailed by a 1-0 score.

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Ivan Nikolishin and Brett Cote watch the face-off. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Matt Pufahl added a powerplay goal from the blueline 2:14 into the second period to extend the Silvertips’ lead. Later, Steven Hodges made it a one-goal game at the 9:26 mark. After jumping on a loose puck in the slot, the Royals’ forward snapped a quick shot to the top right corner for his 21st goal of the season.

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Patrik Polivka stops the puck…and a Silvertip. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Just as Victoria appeared to seize momentum, Everett made it a 3-1 game with 5:08 remaining in the frame as Kevin Davis’ point shot took a strange bounce off of former Royal Zane Jones and trickled past Polivka. The Royals tested Lotz in the late stages of the period, but were unable to capitalize and headed to the third period down by two goals.

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Austin Lotz stops the puck as the Royals storm in. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Just 2:11 into the third period, Victoria trimmed the deficit to one with a goal off the stick of Mitch Skapski. Tyler Soy threw the puck on goal from the left wing and Skapski pounced on the rebound after he drove hard to the net. The Royals continued to push and Soy later tied the game at 9:07. Axel Blomqvist dug the puck free behind the Silvertips’ net and fed an open Soy in the slot who fired the puck over the shoulder of Lotz as the sold out crowd erupted.

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Ben Walker and Cole MacDonald battle for the loose airborne puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Royals’ comeback bid would fall short however, as goals from Everett’s Manraj Hayer and Ivan Nikolishin at the 11:42 and 12:09 marks established another two-goal lead for the visitors that held until the final buzzer. Everett 5 Victoria 2.

Victoria went 0/1=0.0% on the powerplay, while Everett went 1/4=25.0%. The Silvertips outshot the Royals 31-26.

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Steven Hodges will go on to score his 21st goal of the season. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

The Royals will head to Everett tomorrow night to wrap up their 2013-14 regular season when they take on the Silvertips once again. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.

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Silvertips’ Matt Pufahl races the puck back into play. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Single game tickets to the first two games of the Royals’ 2014 WHL Playoff run are on sale now at the Select Your Tickets box office and start at just $13! Game one of Round A is set for Saturday, March 22nd with a 7:05 p.m. puck drop while game two is slated for the following night at 5:05 p.m. Opponents and remaining dates are to be determined.

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Steven Hodges celebrates his 21st goal of the season. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

Playoff packages and Royals 2014-15 season tickets are on sale now! The next 10 fans to place a deposit on season tickets for next season will receive complimentary tickets for all Round A home playoff games. Current season ticket holders are also eligible for over $6,000 in prizes when they renew their seats before tomorrow! Guarantee the BEST seats at the BEST prices with the BEST benefits for all 36 home games by visiting or calling 250-220-7889.

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Silvertips’ Ben Betker tries to stop Royals’ Logan Fisher from advancing onto Lotz’s net. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

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Logan Nelson gets pressed into the boards. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)

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Ben Walker and Brayden Low chase a loose puck. (Photo: Kasey Eriksen ISN)