Royals send bears flying early in big win against the Thunderbirds

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Royals players help fans lift the giant teddy bear over the glass boards. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras

It was the Royals annual ‘teddy bear toss’ on Saturday night in which the Royals won 3-1 over the Seattle Thunderbirds. The nearly sold-out crowd of 6,633 was in an electric buzz waiting to see who will attain the title “Mr. Teddy Bear”. Previously, the title of “Mr. Teddy Bear” had been held by D-Jay Jerome (2018-19), Eric Florchuk (2017-18, 2016-17), Ethan Price (2015-16), Axel Blomqvist (2014-15), Carroll (2013-14, 2012-13) and Zane Jones (2011-12).

Blake Lyda makes a glove save. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras
Blake Lyda makes a glove save. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras

The first period as the Thunderbirds were quick to strike when Henrik Rybinski ripped one bardown on Shane Farkas with assists coming from Owen Williams, and Simon Kubicek. The teddy bears went on to be air born when the Royals’ forward River Fahey scored the team’s Teddy Bear Toss goal. The goal, which was tallied at the 3:21 mark of the first period, is the fastest in team history as it was 20 seconds quicker than Austin Carroll’s goal (3:51 into the first period) in the 2013-14 game. The period would remain scoreless after the toss as both these fought going back and forth.

Shane Farkas helps the ice Crew clean up. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras
Shane Farkas helps the ice Crew clean up. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras

The Royals would tack on two goals in the second period as Brandon Cutler scored them both. The first one with assists coming from Carson Miller and Tauren Fizer. Cutler’s second goal would squeeze past Ross with assists from Wil Warm and Jacob Herauf. There would be no more goals after as the Royals were able to hold on to win the game.

Brandon Cutler celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras
Brandon Cutler celebrates after scoring his second goal of the game. Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras

Saturday’s contest was the Royals’ 300th WHL regular-season home game. With tonight’s win, Victoria now holds an all-time regular-season record of 179-98-12-11 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, as well it was Brandon Cutler’s 200th WHL game. The Royals have recently found their groove with goaltender Shane Farkas winning his last seven games in which he has started. In which Farkas has earned a 1.57 goals-against average and a 0.950 save percentage.

Shane Farkas . Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras
Shane Farkas . Photo by Nathanael Laranjeiras