by Corey St. Laurent
April 4, 2014, Portland, OR (ISN) – Friday night saw the Victoria Royals begin their Western Conference Semi-Final series with the Portland Winterhawks at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Royals gave Patrik Polivka the start in goal, while the Winterhawks countered with Brendan Burke.
Taylor Crunk set the physical tone early for the Royals with a big hit on Mathew Dumba before Ryan Gagnon nearly opened the scoring for the visitors. The Winterhawks responded with a pair of first period goals from Chase De Leo and Brendan Leipsic at the 8:53 and 13:15 marks, respectively. Victoria outshot Portland 13-9 in the opening frame, but trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Nic Petan converted for the Winterhawks 3:11 into the second period before Coleman Vollrath took over in the Royals’ crease. Taylor Crunk got Victoria on the board just 21 seconds later, but a pair of goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand and another from Dumba put Portland up 6-1 by the 16:22 mark. Brandon Magee picked up a late powerplay goal for the Royals, but the visitors trailed 6-2 at the second intermission.
Goals from Derrick Pouliot and Dumba rounded out the scoring for the Winterhawks in a chippy final frame. Portland 8 Victoria 2.
Victoria went 1/6 = 16.7% on the powerplay, while Portland went 3/10 = 30.0%. The Winterhawks outshot the Royals 35-27.
The Royals will look to rebound in Game 2 tomorrow night at the Moda Center in Portland. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on Shaw TV.