Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – The Victoria Royals were defeated by their 2nd place US Division counterpart in the Everett Silvertips 4-3 at Save On Foods Arena to close out their regular home game schedule in front of 6813 black and blue clad Royal fans.
Royals Brandon Fushimi skates out from around the net with the wrap around attempt looking to beat Carter Hart – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Royals, going 4-4 in the month of March, and hoping to start a winning streak with only two games remaining in the regular season before they look to build a deep playoff run, probably don’t to have much to loose in their final two games against the Silvertips in their home and home tilt this weekend but everything to gain as they look to find some consistentency in their play after giving up a 4-1 loss to the conference trailing Vancouver Giants last weekend.
CHL Goalie of the Week with a 3-0-0 and two shutouts record last week, Royals’ Coleman Vollrath would start in net for the home team, facing his down-ice rival Carter Hart. Hart currently holds second place in the WHL in GAA with a mere 2.27-point average.
Royals Coleman Vollrath, CHL Goalie of the week for his 3-0-0 record last week, gloces this Silvertips puck out of mid-air – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Royals would seem to have the quicker step in the early stages of the first period, beating the Silvertips to many of the loose pucks, but both teams would deny the other the first goal of the game. The Royals would hold the edge with a 9- 7 shots on goal lead at the end of the first period.
Silvertips Brayden Low is looking for the redirect infront of Vicoria Royals Colemen Vollrath – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A key to the Royals game success was to minimize the penalties against Everett. The Silvertips, carrying the third best powerplay in the WHL, have burnt their opponents for a total of 70 points, with a 24.6 percent power play percentage.
Brandon Fushimi skates untouched through the Everett Silvertips crease – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Unfortunately for the Blue, Royals Greg Chase would find his way to the “sin bin” after a slashing call would put his team in the position they wanted to avoid. The Silvertips Ivan Nickolishin would make Victoria pay with his sixteenth goal from Carson Stadnyk to beat Vollrath and put the Tips up 1-0.
The Royals Brandon Magee would even the score with his own power play marker from Hicketts and Brown, beating Hart short side with a snappy, quick wrister under the right blocker for his twenty-third goal of the season. The Royals team would fan the flames of fervor even greater as Royals fans would erupt out of their seats three minutes later after Austin Carroll would beat Hart, scoring his 38th goal of the season to put the home team in front for the first time in the game.
Royals Brandon Magee would get his team’s scoring started in game one action during second period action beating Hart short side – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportemedia.ca)
Carroll’s goal would set a new single season goal scoring record for the Victoria Royals franchise and the fourth year, 6’3” veteran.
Everett, not letting the home fans celebrate for too long, would free up #11 Brayden Low to tie up the game two minutes later, left alone on the right wing and beating Vollrath with his fifteenth goal of the season.
Royals Tyler Soy would score late in the 3rd period to bring his team to within one goal of a tie, as he puts the body on Dawson Leedahl – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Silvertips would go ahead in the seventeenth minute on nice pass from Low to Remi Laurencelle who would beat Vollrath high glove side from the doorstep of the goal crease for his 22nd goal of the season. The Silvertips would go to the second intermission enjoying a 3-2 lead.
Everett would add an insurance marker in the 3rd period when Noah Juulsen’s weak shot would redirect off the bottom of Vollrath’s left skate, finding the back of the net for the 4-2 lead at 10:27.
The referee was just a little too close for his own good as Brandon Magee’s loose stick clips the official – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Royals, urged on by the partisan crowd and the wave making trips around the arena, would press hard and would be rewarded by Tyler Soy’s blast near the slot that would beat Carter Hart with five minutes remaining, to pull closer with a one point, 4-3 deficit.
Royals Alex Foresberg looks to screen goalie Carter Hart while tying up Lucas Skrumeda in front of the crease – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The Royals would play the most of the remaining game in the Silvertips end, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats with some nifty play around the Everett net, but time would expire too soon and hand the 4-3 win to the visiting Silvertips.
The Victoria Royals, bags packed and already on the bus, will play their final regular season game against the Silvertips in Everett Saturday at 7:05 pm.
In other WHL action, the Prince George Cougars defeated the Kamloops Blazers to solidify a playoff berth and a match up against the Victoria Royals starting March 27th at Save on Foods Arena.