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Story and Photographs by Glenn Ivens (

Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals winless streak extended to 9 games after a 4-3 shoot out loss to the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night.

“It’s frustrating, losing does that to you, both nights we could have been on the other end and we weren’t” remarked Royals coach and general manger Marc Habscheid after the game.


IMG 8024Victoria’s Steven Hodges attempts to fire rebound past Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke during 1st period of WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Center on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (

The teams traded scoring chances in the 1st period but starting goaltenders Keith Hamilton for the Royals and Jordon Cooke for the Rockets turned aside everything they saw.

The Royals opened the scoring in the 2nd period when Hayden Rintoul fed a pass to Brandon Magee at the side of the net and Magee buried a power play marker for his 11th of year. Kelowna tied it up 4 minutes later while shorthanded when Carter Rigby took a pass from Shane McColgan and fired it past the outstretched glove of Keith Hamilton.

IMG 8099Royals goaltender Keith Hamilton turned aside 32 of the 35 shots he faced on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Victoria went back on top, again on the power play, when Rintoul blew a slap shot past Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke with assists going to Jamie Crooks and Kevin Sundher. It was then the Rockets turn to capitalize on the power play when Myles Bell found the back of the net.

The Royals were then put behind the 8 ball when Zane Jones was assessed a 5 minute major and game misconduct for boarding with 3:34 left in the 2nd. Hamilton and the Royals defence stood tall and went into the intermission tied 2-2.

IMG 8241Steven Hodges is unable to get his stick on a pass during WHL action against the Kelowna Rockets on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (

With the Royals shorthanded for the first 1:26 of the 3rd period Kelowna went right to work and staked a 3-2 lead off a Brett Bulmer goal 45 seconds in. The Royals battled but couldn’t seem to get a shot on goal until half way through the period when Mike Forsyth tipped a Zach Habscheid shot from the point past Cooke for his first goal of the season.

IMG 8260Victoria’s Mike Forsyth watches as his deflection of a Zach Habscheid shot beats Kelowna’s Jordon Cooke for his 1st goal of the season.
Glenn Ivens photo (

The Royals had the fans on the edge of their seats late in the period when they had a pair of glorious scoring chances but were unable to convert. Regulation time ended with the teams tied 3-3 but the action wasn’t over as Sundher and McCoglan exchanged some pushing and shoving that resulted in both players taking a seat for the first 2 minutes of overtime.

The overtime period solved nothing but Sundher and McCoglan continued their battle at the end of the overtime resulting in Sundher being called for an attempted head butt making him unavailable for the shoot out.

IMG 8274Kelowna’s Jesse Lees avoids the forecheck of Victoria’s Tim Traber during Saturday night’s WHL game at Save On Foods Memorial Center.
Glenn Ivens photo (

Victoria sent Soudek out first and he beat Cooke with a move but lost control of the puck. Kelowna countered with Zach Franko who beat Hamilton high to the stick side. Logan Nelson was next up for the Royals but Cooke’s glove hand was up to the task, Hamilton shut the door on Bell leaving it in Magee’s hands to keep the Royals alive, unfortunately he was unable to beat Cooke ending the game 4-3 for Kelowna.

IMG 8349Victoria Royals’ Robin Soudek is unable to control puck during shoot out attempt agaisnt Kelowna Rockets’ Jordon Cooke on Saturday night.
Glenn Ivens photo (

IMG 8367Jordon Cooke of the Kelowna Rockets shuts the door on Victoria Royals’ Brandon Magee to secure the 4-3 shoot out win on Saturday night at Save On Foods Memorial Center.
Glenn Ivens photo (

“We have played well the last couple of games and if we keep that up we should win some games down the stretch” commented opening goal scorer Magee.

With the WHL trade deadline looming on January 10 rumors have been swirling about a possible Sundher trade. “It’s on the guys minds, it’s on my mind, I’ve been through this before and you never know what’s going to happen. As of right now I am on this team and I’m happy to be here. I love this city and I love this team, it’s a great group of guys.”

The Royals now embark on a 9 day road trip that sees them play 6 games in Regina, Brandon, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Saskatoon before heading home to face the Kamloops Blazers January 27th.