The 7th place Victoria Royals (21-39-2-4, 48pts) hit the road looking to widen the gap against the 8th place Everett Silvertips (19-37-1-8, 47pts) Wednesday night.
PAST 10: Victoria (4-6), Everett (5-5)
SERIES: The Royals dropped a pair of one goal games at home to the Silvertips by 3-2 scores Feb. 7th and 8th in their only two meetings of the season.
STANDINGS: With 6 games remaining, Victoria is in 7th, 1 point ahead of 8th place Everett, 2 up on 9th place Seattle as both the ‘Tips and T-Birds have a game in hand. Prince George remains 6 back with 6 games left.
The Royals magic number is 13 points. Any combination of Victoria wins and Seattle losses totalling 13 points would secure a playoff birth without consideration to Prince George (7 points). Individual Play-off tickets are on sale on Monday March 12th.
GAMES REMAINING: Victoria begins their 4 game in 5 night road trip in Everett Wednesday, then face Kelowna Friday, Everett again Saturday, and Vancouver Sunday at 5pm. Their final two regular season games will be at home versus the Portland Winterhawks.
LAST GAMES: Victoria settled for a split against the visiting Vancouver Giants, winning 5-2 Saturday and falling 6-0 Sunday afternoon. Saturday night the Royals held period leads of 2-0, and 4-2 while their power play struck twice in the win. Sunday, the Giants scored 15 seconds into the first, and added 4 in the second, while Adam Morrison earned his first shut out of the season with 18 saves.
The Everett Silvertips earned their 3rd win in 4 games with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Tri-City Americans Saturday night. Josh Winquist led the way with a goal and an assist for the Silvertips, as they scored three second-period goals for the second straight game. Ryan Murray recorded his 100th career point with an assist while Kent Simpson made 30 saves for his 9th win in his last 14 starts. Everett finished 1 for 3 on the power play and kept Tri-City off the board on four opportunities.
HOME & AWAY: Everett is 5 under .500 at home (12-17-0-4), but have won 3 of 4 in their current 7 game home stand. Victoria (9-20-1-2) has won their last two on the road, both in Prince George.
STATS: Victoria’s penalty kill is ranked 14th, and has stopped 24 of 25 over their last 6 games. The Royals have found the net 217 times this season - 52 more goals than Everett has scored, and Victoria has six players who have accumulated 40 or more points this season.
Everett has scored the 3rd fewest goals in the league, however they’ve lit the lamp 8 times over their last 2 outings. Having surrendered the 5th most goals against this season, the Silvertips have only allowed 1 goal against in their last 2, and only 5 in their last 4 games. Over the course of the season they’ve allowed the 2nd most shots against, and taken the 2nd fewest.
WHO TO WATCH: The Royals are led in scoring by F Jamie Crooks (64), and goals (34). F Logan Nelson who’s 4th in rookie scoring (58), leads the team in assists (37). D Hayden Rintoul is in the top ten in defenseman scoring (48) and leads all reargaurds in power play goals (13). F Ben Walker is now tied for 17th in rookie scoring with 31 points in 40 games. Projected points based on the teams 66 games played would put him 6th in rookie scoring with 51 points.
The Silvertips are led in scoring by Josh Birkholz (55), who’s on a 3 game point streak (2g 2a). Riding 4 game point streaks are Reid Petryk (3g 2a), Joshua Winquist (4g 1a) and Ryan Murray (1g 3a). Josh Caron is 2nd among defenseman in penalty minutes with 146, and 2nd in majors taken with 16.
D Ryan Murray represented Canada at the World Juniors, played at the Top Prospects game as the Captain for Team Cherry and is ranked 3rd by central scouting among North American skaters for the upcoming NHL draft.
ISLANDERS: D Josh Caron is from Campbell River, and D Lucas Grayson is from Port Hardy.
DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011). For Everett: Josh Birkholz, (Florida 2009), Ryan Harrison, (Vancouver, F/A), Kent Simpson, (Chicago 2nd rd 2010).
TOP PROSPECTS: Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108). For Everett: D Ryan Murray (3), D Nick Walters (68).
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month
#4, Evan Morden, Lower body, week to week
#9, J.T Barnett, Lower body, week to week
#19, Manraj Hayer, Upper body, day to day
With 2 home games left and a capacity of 7006, the Royals have an opportunity to eclipse the 200,000 mark in total attendance this season. So far 189,746 spectactors have enjoyed the Royals games at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Their game versus the Portland Winterhawks on March 14th has already sold out! This is the team’s sixth sell-out of the season.
There is only one way left to get tickets to the game, and that is to get your hands on some of the limited number of $5 Mad Monday tickets. These hot tickets will be available Monday, March 12th at 9:30 a.m. at the Select Your Tickets Box Office at the SOFMC.
EVERETT REMAINING GAMES: (7)
Mar. 7 Victoria
Mar. 9 Portland
Mar. 10 Victoria
Mar. 11 at Seattle
Mar. 14 at Kelowna
Mar. 16 at Tri-City
Mar. 17 at Seattle
SEATTLE REMAINING GAMES: (7)
Mar. 7 at Prince George
Mar. 10 vs Portland
Mar. 11 vs Everett
Mar. 13 vs Spokane
Mar. 16 at Spokane
Mar. 17 vs Everett
Mar. 18 at Portland
PRINCE GEORGE REMAINING GAMES: (6)
Mar. 7 vs Seattle
Mar. 10 at Kelowna
Mar. 11 at Tri City
Mar. 13 at Tri City
Mar. 16 at Kamloops
Mar. 17 vs Kamloops