Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
November 21, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Austin Carroll and Jared Dmytriw had a goal and assist each to lead the Victoria Royals to a 3-1 win over the Everett Silvertips in Western Hockey League action Friday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria.
Everett defenceman Ben Betker (5) clears the puck away from Victoria’s Austin Carroll (21) and Everett goaltender Carter Hart (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The 14-4-2-1 Silvertips came into Friday’s game in first place in the U.S. Division and ranked 7th in the recent Top 10 poll of CHL teams. They showed why early in Friday’s tilt, pressuring the Royals and rookie goaltender Jayden Sittler – making his 5th appearance of the season – narrowly missing on a number of opportunities, and with the Royals getting some lucky bounces to avoid getting down a goal in the first couple minutes of the game.
Everett defenceman Ben Betker (5) skates away from pressure from Victoria’s Austin Carroll (21) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After the initial push by Everett, the Royals settled down defensively and then took the play right back at the Silvertips, getting a goal by Austin Carroll at the 4:17 mark to go ahead 1-0. Carroll, who positioned himself in the slot, was the recipient of a nice pass from Dmytriw from behind the goal and then ripped a shot over the shoulder of Everett starter Carter Hart.
Victoria forward Axel Blomqvist was unable to tuck this puck into the open corner during this first period scoring chance (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
That goal would be the only marker of an evenly played first period that saw the Royals outshoot the ‘Tips 10-9 and would be the only goal until after the mid-point of the second frame when the Royals would strike again. This time Dmytriw and Carroll would reverse roles, with Dmytriw getting the goal and Carroll, as well as Ralph Jarratt, earning the assists.
Victoria’s rookie goaltender Jayden Sittler made his 5th appearance of the season and earned his first win as a Royal, stopping 24 of 25 shots in the 3-1 win over Everett (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Silvertips would respond however at the 15:57 mark, when Brayden Low would take a beautiful breakaway pass from Nikita Scherbak and beat Sittler with a nifty deke, sliding the puck between the pads and making the score 2-1.
This second period breakaway goal by Everett’s Brayden Low was the only damage that the Silvertips would do to the Royals on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Other than that one miscue, the Royals would dominate the second period, outshooting the Silvertips 15-8 and it was only thanks to some big saves from Hart that Everett was not down by more heading into the intermission.
Victoria’s Jack Walker drives toward the net in the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Silvertips cranked things up a notch in the third and this time it was rookie Sittler’s time to shine, stopping the ‘Tips on a couple of key chances. The Royals would reward him with an insurance goal at 13:49 when Joe Hicketts would pick up a puck near the top of the face-off circle and wrist one into the top corner to give the Royals the 3-1 lead.
Victoria’s Joe Hicketts (2), here under pressure from Everett’s Carson Stadnyk, would score the insurance goal for the Royals in the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Silvertips continued to press, pulling their goalie for the extra attacker late, but to no avail and the Royals came out with the win, their second of the week over a Top 10 CHL ranked team.
The win moves the Royals record to 13-11-2-0 and they continue to sit second in the BC Division and fourth in the Conference although they are tied with third place Tri-City in points with 28. The ‘Tips fall to 14-4-2-1 and they are second in the Conference, 13 points behind Kelowna and 3 points up on Tri-City and Victoria.
Everett’s Matt Fonteyne (17) tries to escape the long reach of the Royals’ Axel Blomqvist during the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Next up for the Royals are the Regina Pats, who head to Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena on Saturday for their first visit of the season to Victoria. Puck drop is 7:05 pm.
Game Notes: Sittler’s win was his first as a Royal and just second in the WHL, his previous win coming when he was with the Kootenay Ice. The Royals were without Brandon Magee and Taylor Crunk, who were seving suspensions as a result of incidents in Wednesday night’s game with Kelowna. Crunk was issued a one game suspension, while Magee was serving his first of five games received for a spearing major. Newcomer Greg Chase, acquired in a trade with the Calgary Hitmen for Keegan Kanzig, made his Royals debut Friday. He had 5 shots on goal and a -1 rating.