The Victoria Royals lost 6-0 to the Kamloops Blazers tonight at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Royals captain Tarun Fizer returned to the lineup after spending time with the Colorado Avalanche and their AHL affiliate, the Colorado Eagles. The 20-year-old led the Royals into the first period looking to get a win against the first place Blazers. The two teams were evenly matched for the first ten minutes of the period, going back and forth to get the first goal of the game. The Blazers would get the 1-0 lead on a goal from Matthew Seminoff during a rush to the net. With four minutes left in the first, the Blazers got their second of the game from Nick McCarry on a centering pass from Reese Belton. As the period was just about to end, the Blazers Daylan Kuefler made it 3-0.
Victoria started off the second period on the power play. However, that was cut short when Tarun Fizer took a penalty for tripping a minute in. During the penalty kill, Royals Caleb Willms had a great opportunity to get one on the board for the team but had the puck poke-checked away before he could get a shot off. The Blazers went back on the power play after Brayden Schuurman took a penalty for hooking. As the power play was coming to an end, Logan Stankoven put one in behind Royals’ goaltender Campbell Arnold to make it 4-0. Ethan Brandwood got the fifth goal of the night for the Blazers with just five minutes left to go in the second. Gannon Laroque took an interference penalty in the final minutes of the second allowing the Blazers to get their sixth goal on a shot from Fraser Minten to end the period 6-0.
The Royals started the third period with Tyler Palmer in net who was looking sharp five minutes in. Neither team was able to get past one another for the first half of the period with shots on goal kept at 4-2 in favour of Kamloops. Victoria was able to get some offensive rushes going but were unable to get anything past Blazers’ goaltender Dylan Garand. With just under two minutes to go, the Royals took another penalty but were able to stop Kamloops from furthering their lead, ending the game 6-0.
GM and Head Coach Dan Price was quick to find the lessons in tonight’s game that the team will work on ahead of tomorrow night.
“The biggest factor tonight was special teams. The shot volume, scoring chances, and score line really changed when we took that string of penalties in the second period. The stick penalties and reaching penalties are what we’ll eliminate tomorrow. Getting on the right side of the special teams opportunities will help put us in a good position,” Price said. “It was a very even game at five on five. Credit to Dylan Garand as well, he made some outstanding saves to preserve their lead when the game was close.”
The three stars of the night were Nick McCarry (KAM), Quinn Schmiemann (KAM) and Dylan Garand (KAM).
Saturday night is the annual Canadian Armed Forces Military Appreciation Night which includes a special door prize for the first 2,000 guests and another Royals specialty jersey to be auctioned off with proceeds going towards the Military Family Resource Centre in Esquimalt.