The Victoria Royals lost 7-1 to the Kamloops Blazers on Friday night.
The Royals started off the first period with some fresh faces back in the lineup. Defenceman Devin Aubin and forwards Igor Zborovskiy and Reggie Newman all returned from injury to join Victoria in Kamloops.
Campbell Arnold was looking confident in net for the first period as the Blazers were dominating the play to keep it in the Royals zone. Seven minutes into the period and the Blazers got the early lead on a shot from Matthew Seminoff while goaltender Arnold was down from an earlier play. Kamloops continued to go hard to the net and at 10:01 Seminoff got his second of the night to make it 2-0. The Royals were quick to respond on the power play after Gannon Laroque took a slapshot from the blue line and Brayden Schuurman was there for the rebound to make it 2-1. Victoria fought off an intense last five minutes of the period to end the first 2-1.
Seconds into the second period Laroque went to the box for boarding which enabled Caeden Bankier to get the power play goal, giving the Blazers a 3-1 lead. Reggie Newman had a close chance on a breakaway minutes later but was blocked by Garand. The Blazers would make it 4-1 on a rebound from Kuefler after non-stop pressure in front of Arnold. The latter half of the second saw the Royals penalty kill at work again for the fourth time in the game. Despite both teams having near misses on net but the period ended 4-1.
The third period started off similar to the first two periods with heavy pressure from the Blazers. With traffic in front, Nick McCarry put one past Arnold two minutes in to make it 5-1. The Blazers kept coming and Josh Pillar scored the sixth goal of the night for the Blazers with six and a half minutes to go in the third. With under two minutes to go, Fraser Minten would get on board for the Blazers to end the game 7-1.
GM and Head Coach Dan Price was quick to find ways the team can learn from tonight’s loss and head into Kelowna level headed.
“The biggest difference tonight was of course shot volume, but it was what caused the shot volume that’s important. We took seven penalties and they took two. So, that’s over three times the power play opportunities, and obviously the power play is one of the Blazers’ strengths. The other cause was details in defensive zone coverage. We left too many shot lanes open and we were not nearly physical enough down low. We let them skate and that put us on our heels,” Price said of his team’s performance. “If we correct those things, we’ll tilt the ice in our favour in most games. So, we’ll work on improving those things prior to tomorrow’s game in Kelowna.”
Victoria will be in Kelowna tomorrow night to face the Rockets for the first time since October 9th.
The next Royals home game will be on November 5th when the team plays Kamloops in the Royals Country Bash. On Saturday, November 6th, the club celebrates our Canadian Armed Forces and their families on Canadian Armed Forces Military Appreciation Night. For this game, the team will be honouring our military members and families with a special jersey to be auctioned off with proceeds going towards the Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre.