For the third time in under a month it was the Victoria Royals (8-6-0-1) making the trip into the Interior to take on the Kelowna Rockets (7-7-1-0) at Prospera Place.
Braden Holt made his tenth start of the season for the Royals while he squared off against Jari Kykkanen of the Rockets who got the nod for his eleventh time this season.
The first period of play was a scoreless affair which was a much different pace to which was seen in the previous two meetings between Victoria and Kelowna. The Royals got the lone powerplay opportunity of the period in which the Rockets were able to kill off.
Victoria would strike first in the middle frame as Tanner Scott buried one by Kykkanen during a four-on-four sequence which gave the Royals the first lead of the hockey game. The Royals would hang on to that one goal cushion for the majority of the period until late in the second when they were able to grab another. It was Logan Pickford notching his first WHL goal on a deflection from right in front of the blue paint that elevated over the shoulder of Kykkanen to extend the Royals lead to two.
The final frame was a similar style of play to the opening period of play as both sides were battling it out looking to get on the board. It wasn’t until late in the period when the Rockets would beat Holt to halt his shutout bid as Andrew Cristall scored with just 45 seconds to go. The Royals would hold off the Rockets final push en route to a 2-1 victory.
4:20 – Victoria Royals Goal
Tanner Scott (6) assisted by Ben Riche and Justin Kipkie
17:26 – Victoria Royals Goal
Logan Pickford (1) assisted by Escalus Burlock and Hudson Bjornson
19:15 – Kelowna Rockets Goal
Andrew Cristall (11) assisted by Gabriel Szturc
Shots On Goal
Royals – 20
Rockets – 28
Royals – 0/3
Rockets – 0/4
Braden Holt – 27/28
Jari Kykkanen – 18/20
Victoria will continue their brief road swing with a trip south of the border to take on the Wenatchee Wild for the first time in franchise history. The Royals will be set for battle at Town Toyota Center tomorrow night with puck drop taking place at 6:00 PM.