Victoria, BC- The Victoria Royals were stymied by goaltender Rylan Toth and the Red Deer Rebels on Friday night as they fell by a 3-1 score at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Toth stopped 27 of the 28 shots that were directed his way, and was also the beneficiary of some puck luck as the Royals rang shots off the post on three separate occasions.
Red Deer’s Ivan Nikolishin tallied two goals on the night as he opened and closed the scoring (empty net goal) for the visitors. The Rebels’ Evan Polei notched the eventual game-winner late in the middle frame.
Victoria rookie Keith Anderson was the only Royal able to solve Toth when he tallied the game’s opening goal in the first period. Not only was it the rookie’s first career Western Hockey League goal, but it was also highlight reel worthy as the 17-year-old forced a turnover at the Red Deer blueline, deked around a Rebels’ defender and lifted a backhand past Toth for the marker.
The Royals’ Coleman Vollrath, who made his ninth consecutive start, turned away 21 of the 23 shots he faced.
On the man-advantage, Victoria was unable to capitalize on any of their four opportunities. The Rebels went 1/2 = 50.0%.
Victoria will head back out onto the road tomorrow to begin a four-game road trip. The Royals face off against the Seattle Thunderbirds tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. before they head to Kamloops for a match-up vs. the Blazers on Wednesday, October 21st. The Royals will then travel to Spokane to face the Chiefs on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th.
The Royals return home on Tuesday, October 27th against the Lethbridge Hurricanes for Winter Driving Awareness Night. Puck drop is slated for 7:05 p.m.