Victoria, BC- The Victoria Royals bested the Kamloops Blazers 4-3 in a back-and-forth contest as Ryan Peckford tallied the game winner, his second goal of the night, in the final minute of play on Saturday night.
Royals – Matthew Phillips 0g-3a, Ryan Peckford 2g-0a (Game Winner), Dante Hannoun 1g-1a, Kaid Oliver 1g-0a, Spencer Gerth 0g-1a, Jared Legien 0g-1a, and Jared Freadrich 0g-1a.
Kamloops – Nick Chyzowski 0g-2a, Jackson Shepard 1g-0a, Joe Gatenby 1g-0a, Nic Holowko 1g-0a, Nolan Kneen 0g-1a, and Garrett Pilon 0g-1a.
Royals – Griffen Outhouse (W) – 60:00 Min, 38 saves on 41 shots
Kamloops – Dylan Ferguson (L) – 59:25 min, 35 saves on 39 shots
Royals – 3/6=50.0%
Kamloops – 1/3=33.3%
Leading the Pack – Tonight’s contest marked the first game of the season with the team’s new leadership group. Matthew Phillips became the eighth player in franchise history to be named captain, while Dante Hannoun, Regan Nagy and Scott Walford dressed as assistant captains.
Powerplay Party – The Royals tallied three powerplay goals in the contest. The club ranks first in the WHL in powerplay goals, with eight, and is fifth in powerplay percentage with a mark of 8/21=38.1%.
Royal Debut – Defenceman Matthew Smith made his WHL debut for the Royals tonight. Smith, a product of Saskatoon, SK, was selected by Victoria in the Round 7, 145th overall, in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
Points in Bunches – Victoria’s Phillips, Hannoun and Ryan Peckford all recorded multiple points in the victory. Through the team’s three games this year, Victoria has received 13 multi-point performances from their players.
Starting Strong – With nine points (3g-6a), Phillips has set the new Victoria record for most points by a player in the club’s opening three contests. The previous record was held by Alex Forsberg who tallied eight points (2g-6a) in his first three matches of the 2015-16 campaign.
Island Kids – The Blazers had a trio of players take part in the contest who hail from Vancouver Island: Netminder Dylan Ferguson (Lantzville), blueliner Nolan Kneen (Duncan) and defenceman Sean Strange (Saanich).
In the Pros – The Royals were missing 20-year-old’s Chaz Reddekopp and Tyler Soy who are both with AHL teams. Reddekopp, who is a prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, is currently with the Ontario Reign, while Soy, an Anaheim Ducks prospect, is with the San Diego Gulls.
Pucks to the Net – The two teams combined for 80 shots on goal tonight. Coming in to the contest, Victoria averaged 29 shots on goal while the Blazers held an average of 37.