The Blazers led 1-0 after 20 minutes and 2-0 after 40. In the third, Colin Smith scored as the power play expired 2:04 in to give them a 3-0 lead.
Kevin Sundher got his 15th of the season with the man advantage at the 16:09 mark - getting in alone and going five hole on a nice deke on the number star Cole Cheveldave, who made 17 stops. Moments later Sundher thought he’d scored again, but the goal was waved off after the referee ruled Cheveldave had been pushed into the net.
GOAL - Sundher 15th color by Steve Passmore
Willick sealed it with his second of the night into an empty net with 8 seconds left. Blazers outshot the Royals 40-18 on the night.
|(Photo by Murray Mitchell / Kamloops Daily News)|
The Royals scored once on the power play in five opportunities, while shutting down the Blazers five chances.
They’ll meet again next Tuesday and Wednesday in Victoria, looking for a pair of wins to even the season series.
The loss puts Victoria 2 games under .500 and extends the losing streak to 3 games, tying the longest skid of the season. They’ve been outscored 23 to 7 in that stretch.
Making his debut wearing number 10 for the Royals was Minnesota High School’s Ben Walker who showed his great speed and got two shots on net. He was paired on a line with Austin Carroll and Tim Traber.
Also back in the line up was rookie forward Taylor Crunk returning after missing 14 games due to injury. He was paired with Mike Forsyth and Zane Jones.
Sundher with goals in back to back games is 7th in WHL scoring and will find out Monday if he gets an invite to World Junior Camp. He’s just 2 points shy of tying Ryan Howse’s franchise record of 217.
This evening the 3rd place Royals are in Kelowna to take on the 4th place Rockets who are coming off a 4-0 loss to Kootenay last night. It snaps their 3 game winning streak, all versus 5th place Prince George. It was the Kootenay Ice sweeping their BC Division road trip, handing Kelowna their first regulation loss in 6 games.
Victoria has won all 3 games in the season series thus far, 3-2 Oct 23rd in Kelowna, and previous back to back home wins 7-5 and 4-3 in overtime.
Against the Rockets in 3 games this season, Kevin Sundher has 8 points, Robin Soudek with 6 and Jamie Crooks 4. Keith Hamilton who is from Kelowna has been between the pipes for all 3 victories.
It’ll be the first time the Royals have faced forward Brett Bulmer this season, and in 9 games since returning from the Minnesota Wild he has 12 points. Kelowna’s record since his return, 4-3-1-1.
Sitting just 2 points up on the Rockets the Royals look to widen the gap and snap a 3 game slide tonight in Kelowna.
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