|The Royals celebrate the win in Prince Albert|
“We thought our depth might be the difference and sure enough our fourth line got the winner.” said Ben Cooper, the Royals assistant coach.
After only scoring once in their previous two games, Victoria exploded for six goals to snap a 2 game slide. The Royals, now 2-3 on their 6 game eastern road swing, can go .500 with a win Saturday evening in Saskatoon.
The Royals never trailed after Steven Hodges (1g 1a) opened the scoring, but were tied at one after 20 minutes. Victoria scored 3 power play goals in the second by Robin Soudek (1g), Kade Pilton (1g 1a) and Jamie Crooks (1g 2a) to take a 4-2 lead into the third.
The Raiders notched a pair just :47 seconds apart early in the final frame to tie the game at 4. Austin Carroll (1g) scored the eventual game winner at 7:48, while the games first strar, Logan Nelson (1g 2a) added the insurance marker with a breakaway goal at 12:03. Victoria held off Prince Albert’s late surge with the goaltender pulled in the final two minutes to record their 15th win of the season.
Logan Nelson and Jamie Crooks each had 3 point efforts with a goal and 2 assists each.
Cooper touched on the young teams resiliency after the Raiders tied it at 4. “…just the mental strength to bear down and play the systems, play with structure and be composed and that’s part of the learning process for a young team and I thought we did that…we just battled throught it, and after that time out we got back to our game and then we knew that if we stuck with that, our skill would take over…”
Special teams was big for Victoria, just 1 for 13 on the eastern road swing coming into the contest, but went 3 for 6, while stopping both man advantages for Prince Albert.
Cooper commented on how important the special teams was going into the contest. “…you know that would a big difference if we stayed out of the box and controlled our emotions and maybe they took a few penalties that we could (capatalize) that could be the difference, and sure enough it was.”
Raider forward Austin Bourhis received 5 and a game, for charging on Luke Harrison in the second. The altercation drew 2 fights, Kade Pilton fought Bourhis and Austin Carroll drew Jesse Knowler. Back in the first Jordan Fransoo fought Tyler Hart.
Pilton was named third star for his Gordie Howe hat trick. Rookie Taylor Crunk earned his first WHL point in his 25th game, assisting on Carroll’s game winner. Zane Jones got the hit of the night on Antoine Corbin while chipping in with 2 assists, as 5 Royals had multiple point games.
Justin Maylan for the Raiders celebrated his 21st birthday with 3 helpers while Mike Winthers and Logan McVeigh scored a goal and assist each.
Keith Hamilton made 28 saves for his 14th win, while Cole Holowenko stopped 24 for his 13th loss.
With 35 points the Royals move into a tie for 7th with Seattle and now have a 3 point lead on the Cougars, who have 2 in hand.
Victoria is now 3-2 in the last 5 seasons against Prince Albert.
Moose Jaw defenseman Dylan McIlrath was handed down an 8 game suspension for his hit to the head of Jesse Zgraggen (Upper Body), in Wednesday nights game.
Victoria Royals 6 at Prince Albert Raiders 4 - Status: Final
Friday, January 20, 2012 - Art Hauser Centre - Prince Albert, SK
Victoria 1 3 2 - 6
Prince Albert 1 1 2 - 4
1, Victoria, Hodges 14 (Jones, Cote), 5:41.
2, Prince Albert, McVeigh 8 (Winther, Maylan), 11:56.
Penalties-Fransoo Vic (major-fighting), 8:16; Hart P.a (major-fighting), 8:16; Morrissey P.a (hooking), 15:33.
3, Victoria, Soudek 19 (Crooks, Hodges), 1:01 (PP).
4, Prince Albert, Winther 23 (Maylan), 6:27 (SH).
5, Victoria, Pilton 5 (Nelson, Jones), 6:53 (PP).
6, Victoria, Crooks 24 (Rintoul, Nelson), 9:44 (PP).
Penalties-Hart P.a (slashing), 0:37; Kanzig Vic (hooking), 2:53; Danyluk P.a (slashing), 5:32; Carroll Vic (major-fighting), 9:00; Pilton Vic (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 9:00; Bourhis P.a (major-charging, major-fighting, major-fighting), 9:00; Knowler P.a (major-fighting), 9:00; McNeill P.a (high sticking, high sticking), 9:25; Carroll Vic (roughing), 17:32.
Bourhis P.a (game misconduct), 20:00.
7, Prince Albert, Bardaro 21 (Hlinka), 0:40.
8, Prince Albert, Yaworski 2 (Maylan, McVeigh), 1:27.
9, Victoria, Carroll 4 (Pilton, Crunk), 7:48.
10, Victoria, Nelson 19 (Crooks), 12:03.
Shots on Goal-
Prince Albert 9-15-8-32.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 3 / 6;
Prince Albert 0 / 2.
Hamilton 14-22-1-3 (32 shots-28 saves).
Prince Albert, Holowenko 7-13-0-0 (30 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Adam Byblow (23).
Linesmen-Derek Craig (63), Bob Schrader (126).