Royals Locker Room3712

Sept 25,2014(ISN) – The 2014-2015 Victoria Royals start their home schedule with a pair of

games Friday and Saturday evenings vs. the Kamloops Blazers.

The Royals have high expectations this season after their breakthrough season

with 48 wins and a total of100pts. This year they hope to have a healthy

Joe Hicketts patrolling the blue line after an injury filled season last year

where he only played in 36 games. He is just back from a free agent tryout

with the Detroit Red Wings where he scored a game-winning goal against

the St. Louis prospects in rookie camp. He impressed Detroit’s General

Manager so much as a free agent that he just signed a 3-year deal with

the Red Wings. Travis Brown (defence) was invited for a tryout with the

Ottawa Senators. Look for big things from Hicketts and Brown this season

now that they are back from pro camps brimming with confidence.

Goalie Patrick Polika has left the team as he signed a pro contract in the

Czech Republic leaving the crease to Coleman Vollrath who at times last

season played better as a backup with 20-8-2 record. Vollrath’s backup will

be 6’6 Evan Smith from Colorado. This year the team is much deeper in

the crease.

Offensively the Royals have lost some depth up front with the graduations

of Ben Walker and Logan Nelson, but they expect young stars like Tyler

Soy who starred over the summer at the Ivan Hilika U -18 Memorial

Tournament leading Team Canada to a 7th straight gold medal at this

competition. His showing there earned him an early c ranking in the NHL

Central Scouting Bureau’s rankings for the 2015 entry draft. Look for him

to get at least a 2nd center role after being the Royals Rookie of the Year

in 13-14 where he had 30 points. Soy had a strong 2nd half last year

including playoffs helping the royals to a 1st round sweep of the Spokane

Chiefs. This was the first series win in Royal’s history.

This season will be a big one for coach Dave Lowry and General Manager

Cam Hope as last season after the best season in franchise history.

Lowry and Hope won Coach and Executive of the year awards for the

WHL respectively and set the standard by raising the bar for the Royals

franchise for many seasons to come. Lowry was rewarded by receiving a

well earned contract extension through 2017 by GM hope and given the

honour of becoming the first in Royals history to be named as an Assistant

Coach for Team Canada during the World Junior Tournament December

26 to January 5th.

This season the Royals might not score as much as they did last season

but should continue with a strong defence and work ethic under the eye of

Lowry, which led the Royals to be 2nd in defence last season. If the young

forwards like Dante Haunoun step up I’m expecting a 3rd place finish in the

WHL Western Conference.

Season opening games are Friday September 26th

& 27th at Save On Foods Memorial Center. Game time 7pm

And that’s the view from my chair My Chair

jody with Stevie Y