The Victoria Royals defeated the division rival Kamloops Blazers 3-2 on Friday night. The near sell-out crowd was in for a show as the classic rivalry continued. The Blazers were quick to score first when Max Martin scored his 10th of the season with assists coming from Connor Zary, and Zane Franklin. Brandon Cutler would find the back of the net as well tying things up for the Royals as he picked up his 11th of the season with assists coming from Tarun Fizer and Brayden Tracey.
The Royals had called up Matthew Hodson a 2018 round 3 draft pick to play his first WHL home game. Hodson was quick to jump in the fast-paced game as he led a lot of the offense for the Royals. Hodson is definitely a player to look out for in the next following years.
The 2nd period was full of more action as Victoria was able to pull ahead scoring on the powerplay. When Gary Haden got the rebound and scoring picking up his 21st goal of the season with assists from Kaid Oliver and Brayden Tracey. Kamloops would tie it halfway through the 3rd when Matthew Seminoff picked up the loose puck and put it in the net.
Victoria would be on the powerplay once again in hopes of regaining the lead. The powerplay was effective as Brandon Cutler scored his second of the night and his 12th of the season with assists from Keanu Derungs and Phillip Shultz. Brandon Cutler was hit hard into the boards awkwardly hitting his face in which many believed to be a penalty. A bloody Cutler would appear as more boo’s filled the arena as fans were not happy with the officiating.
This would also spark Royals’ Brayden Tracey to drop the gloves with the Blazers’ Ryan Hughes in which Tracey would win sending the venue into a frenzy. Both teams would pick up minor penalties as Ty Yoder would get a hooking penalty while Kamloops’ Libor Zabransky would get one for embellishment.
The Royals ran the clock down to what ultimately ended the game with pushes and shoves in a scrum. These two teams have shown serious bad blood and could very much be a potential matchup in the playoffs. Cutler picked up the first star of the game while Tracey got the second and Kamloops’ Max Martin would get third. Adam Evanoff got the win for Victoria stopping 32 out of 34 shots faced.