The Victoria Royals are practicing in preparation for their next pre-season contest this Friday, September 7th against the Kelowna Rockets in Maple Ridge, at 7:05 p.m. They play the following night Kelowna.
The Royals are coming off a pair of losses to the Kamloops Blazers, by 4-2 and 5-3 scores. “One thing from last weekend, we know we can work as a group” said Head Coach Dave Lowry, “…there’s no issues with the way our team worked.”
The second game was a physical affair, with 44 minutes of penalties called in total. “One thing that was a concern was the eight stick penalties that we took…that’s something we’ve addressed, …and we’ll try to eradicate from our game.”
With Cirque Du Soleil at the SOFMC this week, the club is practicing at Bear Mountain. “We’ve started to get into how we’re going to play as a team, we’ve talked a bit about defending, how we’re going to work through the neutral zone.” Said Lowry.
As for scoring goals? According to Lowry, “We haven’t focused too much on the offensive zone, I want to still be able to evaluate these guys and see where they are with their creative minds.”
The Blazers dressed a more senior club in the first pre-season game, a great experience for the Royals rookies. “We’re going to get more veterans into the line up, we want to see how our young guys play with veterans beside them.” Against Kamloops, Victoria didn’t dress any 20 year olds, and according to Lowry, this weekend things will be different. “We will play three of them each night.”
The club has reassigned 16-year-old goaltender Michael Herringer, from Comox to the VIJHL Victoria Cougars. Lowry, "He will get an opportunity to play (with the Cougars)...he (Herringer) understands it's critical for a young goalie to play games, and he wasn't going to get that opportunity here on a nightly basis."
The Royals expect to have 29 players travelling along this weekend.