Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Recap: SPOK 6 - VIC 1

Liam Stewart celebrates a goal in a 6-1 Chiefs win.
Liam Stewart scored two short handed goals including the winner to lead the visiting Spokane Chiefs past the Victoria Royals 6-1 Wednesday night.

The Chiefs take both games in the set, and move to within one point of the 4th place Vancouver Giants, the Royals next opponent Saturday and Sunday. 

With Everett and Prince George losing, and Seattle idle, Victoria remains in 7th spot, 2 ahead of the Thunderbirds.

After a scoreless 1st, the Chiefs scored 3 in the second and 3 in the third.  Steven Hodges broke the shut out bid with his 20th.
Steven Hodges had the lone Royals goal.

Steve Kuhn had three assists for the Chiefs, while Brenden Kichton and Blake Gal had a goal and an assist each.  Mike Aviani and Dominik Uher added a singles.

Mac Engel made 24 saves for his 26th win, while Jared Rathjen made 30 saves in the defeat.

The Royals power play was unable to strike on four chances, stopping all three Chiefs opportunities.  Victoria’s penalty killing has been a perfect 14 for 14 over their last four outings.

Assistant Coach Ben Cooper commented on the two short handed goals against. “I think the fact that our power play was struggling in general, didn’t help.  They pressure up top a lot and we didn’t seem handle that too well … they have good team speed and got things going from there.” 

It was the final meeting of the season, with Victoria’s record against Spokane dropping to (0-3-0-1).

The Royals have a 2-5 record against the Giants who play the Tigers Friday, are coming off a 5-3 victory in Kamloops.

Post Game interview with Assistant Coach Ben Cooper:

 
Spokane Chiefs 6 at Victoria Royals 1 - Status: Final
Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Spokane 0 3 3 - 6
Victoria 0 0 1 - 1

1st Period-
No Scoring.

Penalties-Nelson Vic (hooking), 2:06; Zgraggen Vic (delay of game), 3:34; Kuhn Spo (roughing), 18:51; Nelson Vic (roughing), 18:51.

2nd Period-
1, Spokane, Gal 14 (Kuhn, Fiddler), 6:32.
2, Spokane, Stewart 13 (Kuhn, Kichton), 15:15 (SH).
3, Spokane, Kichton 14 (Gal, Baldwin), 16:41.

Penalties-Fram Spo (hooking), 9:06; Aviani Spo (holding), 14:38; Kuhn Spo (inter. on goaltender), 18:39.

3rd Period-
4, Spokane, Stewart 14 (Kuhn, Vandane), 9:46 (SH).
5, Spokane, Aviani 13 (Kalus), 11:44.
6, Victoria, Hodges 20   12:52.
7, Spokane, Uher 28 (Chartier, Kramer), 16:44.

Penalties-Hodges Vic (kneeing), 2:46; Wedman Spo (delay of game), 9:18; Kalus Spo (major-fighting), 12:00; Stahl Vic (major-fighting), 12:00.

Shots on Goal-
Spokane 14-12-10-36.
Victoria 7-10-8-25.

Power Play Opportunities-
Spokane 0 / 3; Victoria 0 / 4.

Goalies-
Spokane, Engel 26-17-1-2 (25 shots-24 saves).
Victoria, Rathjen 2-7-1-0 (36 shots-30 saves).

A-4,833
Referees-Ryan Benbow (62), Jon Stephenson (38).
Linesmen-Ryan Gibbons (73), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).


Preview: Spokane at Victoria, Wed Feb 29th

The Victoria Royals (20-37-2-4, 46pts) look to avenge a 4-2 loss to the visiting Spokane Chiefs (33-22-4-3, 73pts) in the back half of a two game set Wednesday night.  Pregame show start at 6:45pm on The Zone @ 91.3 FM, www.thezone.fm.

Zane Jones tries to tip a shot past Mac Engel
LAST GAME:  The Chiefs Blake Gal broke a 2-2 tie with 3:20 left in the third, and Spokane added an empty net goal for a 4-2 victory Tuesday night in Victoria.

They Royals opened the scoring, tied it up a 2 in the third, but were unable to capatalize on six power play chances in the loss. 

They were solid on the kill, but we also let them worker harder at that time.”  Craig Didmon, the Royals assistant coach about the six man advantages. 

 “…when we got on the power play we sat back a bit.  Unfortunately that’s an achilles heel for our power play.

G Mac Engel made 26 saves for the win, 3 less than his counterpart, Jared Rathjen.  The Royals got goals by F Dakota Conroy and F Jamie Crooks, his team leading 33rd.  Chiefs F Collin Valcourt had a goal and assist for number one star honours.

When we were physical we were carrying the play, and we were creating opportunities so we’re going to have to bring that [tonight].  Really go after their defense again.”

STANDINGS:  The 7th place Royals remain 2 points ahead of the 8th place Thunderbirds, 3 up on the Silvertips and 6 ahead of the Cougars.  Seattle, Everett and Prince George all have one game in hand.  The Silvertips are at home to the Blazers, while the Cougars entertain the Tigers Wednesday.

The Chiefs are now 3 points back of 4th place Giants in the West with a game in hand, as they jockey for the playoffs home ice advantage.
#7 Tyler Stahl takes down #12 Marek Kalus
SERIES:  Victoria has a record of (0-2-0-1) against Spokane and will wrap up the four game season series tonight.  Previous to Tuesday’s 4-2 loss, the Royals clawed back from a 3 goal deficit Feb. 3rd to earn a road point in a 6-5 shoot out loss.  They also dropped a 6-1 decision in Spokane Oct. 26th.

Spokane 4 @ Victoria 2 (Feb 28 2012)
Victoria 5 @ Spokane 6 (Feb 3 2012) SOL
Victoria 1 @ Spokane 6 (Oct 26 2011)

LOOKING AHEAD:  With 9 games left, tonight is the second of a four game home stand, with Vancouver coming for a pair Saturday and a 1:00pm Sunday matinee.  The Royals will head out on a four game trip with stops in Everett, Kelowna, Everett and Vancouver before returning for their final two home games of the regular season versus Portland.

WHO HOT:  Royals F Dakota Conroy is now on a 3 game point streak (2g 1a).  Steven Hodges has 3 points in his last 2 (1g 2a).  Logan Nelson is 4th in rookie scoring (56 pts), and has assists in back to back games (2a). 

Chiefs F Mitch Holmberg has goals in 3 straight (3g).  D Brenden Kichton leads his team in scoring, and all defenseman in points (60) and assists (47).  F Dominik Uher is second in scoring with 59 points but had his 3 game points streak snapped last night (3g 3a).  Darren Kramer is second in the league in penalty minutes (178), and tops in majors (24).

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING:  Spokane has scored the 8th most goals overall, while giving up the fewest shots on goal in the league per game (26.02).  The Chiefs are the 4th least penalized team on average.  They own the 6th best penalty kill, and their power play is ranked 19th overall.

The Royals power play is ranked 13th, and their penalty killing has been perfect over their last 3 games (11 for 11), moving up to 15th in the league.

LEADING SCORERS:

Kichton (13-47-60)
Uher (27-32-59)
Holmberg (25-26-51)
Aviani (12-27-39)
Kuhn (12-27-39)

Crooks (33-30-63)
Nelson (21-35-56)
Soudek (25-28-53)
Rintoul (15-31-46)
Magee (21-23-44

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Spokane: Brenden Kichton (NYI ’11), Dominik Uher (PITT ’11), Darren Kramer (OTT ’11)

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For Spokane: Cole Wedman (142), and Reid Gow (185).

INJURIES:
For Spokane:

#15, Carter Proft, Upper body, TBD

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Recap: SPOK 4 VIC 2

It was a tight game tonight and we were looking like we’d get that point to get into overtime and unfortunately things went the other way for us...”  Craig Didmon, Royals assistant Coach.

Collin Valcourt had a goal and assist to lead the visiting Spokane Chiefs past the Victoria Royals 4-2 Tuesday night.

Austin Carroll is stopped by Mac Engel in a 4-2 Chiefs victory Tuesday.
The win snapped the Chiefs two game skid, and ended the Royals two game win streak. 

Mac Engel made 26 stops for his 25th win, as Jared Rathjen in his fourth consecutive start made 29 saves in his 6th loss.

Assistant Coach of the Royals Craig Didmon after the game:

 
Dakota Conroy opened the scoring for the Royals, but Mitch Holmberg tied it up with his 25th.

After a scoreless middle frame, Collin Valcourt would score his 15th just 90 seconds into the third.  Victoria’s leading scorer Jamie Crooks earned his team leading 33rd to draw the Royals even.  Blake Gal broke a 2-2 tie with just 3:20 left, for the eventual game winner as the Chiefs added one into an empty net courtesy of Corbin Baldwin. 
Tim Traber scraps Darren Kramer

Spokane’s Darren Kramer fought twice, in the first against F Tim Traber and in the second against D Keegan Kanzig.

Victoria’s penalty killing was perfect for a third straight game stopping both Spokane chances, but were unable to capatalize on six of their own.

The 7th place Royals remain 2 points ahead of the 8th place Thunderbirds as the standings remain unchanged as Seattle and Prince George lost while Everett was idle.

Victoria with a record of (0-2-0-1) against Spokane will look for their first win against the Chiefs as they wrap up the two game set Wednesday on the Island.

Netminder for the Royals Jared Rathjen in the post game show:
 
Spokane Chiefs 4 at Victoria Royals 2 - Status: Final
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Spokane 1 0 3 - 4
Victoria 1 0 1 - 2

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Conroy 10 (Traber, Forsyth), 5:17.
2, Spokane, Holmberg 25 (Aviani, Valcourt), 12:24.

Penalties-Kichton Spo (tripping), 1:21; Kramer Spo (major-fighting), 12:05; Traber Vic (major-fighting), 12:05; Baldwin Spo (interference), 17:55.

2nd Period-
No Scoring.

Penalties-Baldwin Spo (roughing), 1:13; Baldwin Spo (boarding), 6:01; Uher Spo (high sticking), 7:33; Rintoul Vic (roughing), 7:33; Walchuk Spo (roughing), 10:59; Kramer Spo (major-fighting), 14:50; Kanzig Vic (major-fighting), 14:50; Stahl Vic (tripping), 17:39.

3rd Period-
3, Spokane, Valcourt 15 (Kichton, Kalus), 1:30.
4, Victoria, Crooks 33 (Hodges, Nelson), 7:26.
5, Spokane, Gal 13 (Kuhn, Walchuk), 16:40.
6, Spokane, Baldwin 5   18:54 (EN).

Penalties-Nelson Vic (charging), 10:09; Uher Spo (tripping), 13:22.

Shots on Goal-
Spokane 12-13-8-33.
Victoria 8-11-9-28.

Power Play Opportunities-
Spokane 0 / 2;
Victoria 0 / 6.

Goalies-
Spokane, Engel 25-17-1-2 (28 shots-26 saves).
Victoria, Rathjen 2-6-1-0 (32 shots-29 saves).

A-4,823
Referees-Trent Knorr (42), Jon Stephenson (38).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Ryan Gibbons (73).

Monday, 27 February 2012

Preview: Spokane at Victoria (Tues, Feb 28)

The 7th place Victoria Royals ( 20-36-2-4, 46pts) entertain the 5th place Spokane Chiefs (21-22-4-3, 71pts) in the first of a two game set Tuesday night.  Pregame show on The Zone @ 91.3 FM at 6:45.

SERIES:  It’s the third of four meetings, with Victoria picking up a point in a 6-5 shoot out loss in Spokane February 3rd.  The Royals lost to the Chiefs 6-1 back on Oct 26th.

STANDINGS: Victoria with 46 points is in 7th, 2 up on Seattle, 3 ahead of Everett and now 6 up on Prince George.  Spokane with 71 points is 5th in the West, 5 back of Vancouver.

LAST GAMES:  The Royals are coming off a pair of road wins against the Cougars, 5-3 Saturday, and 4-2 on Friday.  Robin Soudek had 3 goals over the weekend, while rookie netminder Jared Rathjen earned his first two WHL victories.  With a win, Victoria would match a season high 3 game win streak.

Spokane has dropped their last two, 7-3 versus Tri City on Saturday, and 8-3 in Portland Friday.  The Chiefs have 1 win in their last 7 as they begin a four game road trip.

HOME & AWAY:  The Royals look for their 12th home win, the Chiefs are 3 under .500 on the road, also with 11 victories.

WHO’S HOT: Zane Jones scored a goal and assist last game, extending his point streak to 3 games (1g, 3a).  Robin Soudek has 3 goals in his last 2 games.  Dakota Conroy (1g 1a) and Brett Cote (2a) have points in back to back games.

The Chiefs Brenden Kichton leads all defenseman in points (59) and assists (46).  F Dominik Uher also has 59 points and is on a 3 game point streak (3g, 3a).  F Mitch Holmberg (2g) has goals in back to back games.  Darren Kramer is second in the league in penalty minutes (168).

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING:  Spokane has allowed 15 goals against in their last two games.  They’ve scored the 8th most goals overall, while giving up the fewest shots on goal in the league per game (25.98).  The Chiefs are the 3rd least penalized team.  They own the 9th best penalty kill, and their power play is ranked 19th overall.

LEADING SCORERS: 

Uher (27-32-59)
Kichton (13-46-59)
Holmberg (24-26-50)
Aviani (12-26-38)
Kuhn (12-26-38)

Crooks (32-30-62)
Nelson (21-34-55)
Soudek (25-28-53)
Rintoul (15-31-46)
Magee (21-23-44)

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Spokane: Brenden Kichton (NYI ’11), Dominik Uher (PITT ’11), Darren Kramer (OTT ’11)

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For Spokane: Cole Wedman (142), and Reid Gow (185)

INJURIES:
For Spokane:
#15, Carter Proft, Upper body, TBD
#18, Reid Gow, Upper body, day to day

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Recap: VIC 5 - PG 3

Zane Jones opens the scoring in a 5-3 Victoria win in Prince George
Robin Soudek’s two goals helped the Victoria Royals earn back to back road wins, with a 5-3 victory against the Cougars in Prince George Saturday night.

Jared Rathjen also earned his second career win in as many nights with 30 saves, while Drew Owsley made 37 stops in the defeat.

The Royals hold onto 7th spot in the West with 46 points, 2 up Seattle who keep pace by defeating Everett 3-2 Saturday.  The Silvertips are 5 back in 9th, and the 10th place Cougars are now 6 back.
Jared Rathjen celebrates his 2nd consecutive win.

Steven Hodges scores into an empty net for the win.
Seattle has two games in hand, while Everett and Prince George have just one.  The Silvertips entertain the Winterhawks on Sunday, while the Thunderbirds are at home to the Americans.

The Royals opened the scoring on Zane Jones 12th, Troy Bourke made it 1-1 to snap his three game drought against Victoria.  Steven Hodges fought Daniel Gibb after a hit on Jamie Crooks. 

Victoria added the only two in the second, Robin Soudek finishing a 2 on 1 for his 24th, and Brandon Magee tapped in his 21st taking a 3-1 lead to the third.

In the final frame, the Royals earned a 3 goal lead with Soudek’s second of the night.  The Cougars began to claw back with Daulton Siwak’s short handed tally, followed by Chase Witala’s goal just under 3 minutes later to cut the lead to 4-3.  Steven Hodges completed the Gordie Howe hat trick with an empty net goal to seal the win. 

Victoria earns their 20th win of the season, and take the eight game series 6 games to 2.  They’ve won all 4 meetings in Prince George. 

Both teams power plays went 0 for 6, snapping the Royals 4 game streak of scoring with the man advantage.

Royals Assistant Coach Enio Sacilottto joined me in the post game show:
 
Zane Jones chipped in with a goal and assist, extending his point streak to 3 games (1g, 3a).  Hayden Rintoul played in his 250th career game, earned a star but had his 3 game point streak snapped.  Robin Soudek has 3 goals in his last 2 games.  Victoria native Cody Carlson had 2 assists for the Cougars.

The Royals open a four game home stand with a pair against the Spokane Chiefs Tuesday and Wednesday.  The Vancouver Giants come for a two on Saturday and Sunday.

REMAINING GAMES:
Victoria 10: Home (6), Road (4)

Feb. 28 Spokane
Feb. 29 Spokane
Mar. 3 Vancouver
Mar. 4 Vancouver
Mar. 7 at Everett
Mar. 9 at Kelowna
Mar. 10 at Everett
Mar. 11 at Vancouver
Mar. 14 Portland
Mar. 16 Portland 

Victoria Royals 5 at Prince George Cougars 3 - Status: End of Game
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - CN Centre - Prince George, BC

Victoria 1 2 2 - 5
Prince George 1 0 2 - 3

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Jones 12 (Conroy, Fransoo), 12:48.
2, Prince George, Bourke 13 (Siwak, Carlson), 13:11.

Penalties-Hodges Vic (interference), 0:45; Hodges Vic (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 8:27; Gibb P.g (major-fighting), 8:27; Fraser P.g (hooking), 10:44; Stahl Vic (roughing), 13:32; Elynuik P.g (roughing), 13:32.

2nd Period-
3, Victoria, Soudek 24 (Nelson, Cote), 5:40.
4, Victoria, Magee 21 (Hodges, Jones), 17:47.

Penalties-McNulty P.g (slashing), 6:45; Stahl Vic (roughing), 12:54; Stahl Vic (kneeing), 15:25; Fontaine P.g (hooking), 18:13; Tkatch P.g (10-minute misconduct), 18:13.

3rd Period-
5, Victoria, Soudek 25 (Walker), 3:16.
6, Prince George, Siwak 14 (Fontaine, Carlson), 5:38 (SH).
7, Prince George, Witala 6 (Blidstrand, Jackson), 8:30.
8, Victoria, Hodges 19   18:53 (EN).

Penalties-Blidstrand P.g (interference), 3:43; McNulty P.g (tripping), 6:57; Walker Vic (tripping), 7:34; Forsberg P.g (holding), 8:57; Nelson Vic (too many men), 15:18.

Shots on Goal-
Victoria 12-14-16-42.
Prince George 8-9-16-33.

Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 6;
Prince George 0 / 6.

Goalies-
Victoria, Rathjen 1-5-1-0 (33 shots-30 saves).
Prince George, Owsley 18-31-0-1 (41 shots-37 saves).

A-1,855
Referees-Andy Thiessen (11), Nathan Wieler (18).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Adam Hyatt (16).


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Preview: Victoria at Prince George, Sat. Feb 25th

The 7th place Victoria Royals (19-36-2-4, 44 pts), look for back to back wins as they visit the 10th place Prince George Cougars (19-39-0-2, 40pts) in the final of a two game set Saturday night.  Pregame show on The Zone @ 91.3 FM starts at 6:45pm.

LAST GAME:  Victoria broke a 1-1 tie with a two goal second period, and added an empty netter for a 4-2 victory in Prince George last night.  Jared Rathjen in his hometown, made 26 saves for his first WHL victory.  The Royals got goals from Hayden Rintoul, Dakota Conroy, Austin Carroll and Robin Soudek. 

Victoria’s power play remains hot, going 1 for 2 on the night and 6 for 15 (40%) over their last four.  Victoria stopped all three Prince George man advantages.

Royals keeper, Jared Rathjen
STANDINGS: The Royals are in sole possesion of 7th in the West with 44 points, 2 ahead of the Thunderbirds.  The Silvertips remain 9th, 3 back of the Royals after a 4-2 loss at Tri City.  The 10th place Cougars are 4 points back.  Seattle has 2 games in hand, while Everett and Prince George have one.  Everett plays in Seattle tonight.

SERIES: It’s the final meeting of the season, the Royals with a 5-2 record thus far, winning all three games played so far in Prince George.

Victoria 4 @ Prince George 2 (Feb 24 2012)
Prince George 3 @ Victoria 1 (Feb 18 2012)
Prince George 2 @ Victoria 4 (Feb 17 2012)
Prince George 1 @ Victoria 5 (Feb 1 2012)
Prince George 4 @ Victoria 2 (Jan 31 2012)
Victoria 6 @ Prince George 5 (Oct 1 2011)
Victoria 5 @ Prince George 4 (Sep 30 2011) SO

WHO’S HOT: Hayden Rintoul is 8th in defenseman scoring (46 pts), continues to lead all rearguards in power play tallies with 13, and has a 3 game point streak (2g 2a).  Austin Carroll has scored in back to back games (2g), while Zane Jones has 2 helpers in his last 2.

VICTORIA        PRINCE GEORGE

        10th    PP    22nd
        17th    PK    15th   
        12th    GF    22nd  
        22nd   GA    15th
        19th    SF    22nd
        15th    SA    14th   

HOME & AWAY:  Victoria looks for their 9th road win as they wrap up a 3 game trip (1-1) Saturday in Prince George.  The Cougars play the second of an 8 game home stand, with an 11 under .500 record in PG.
Game play Friday in Victoria's 4-2 win at Prince George.
DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), and D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Prince George: D Ricard Blidstrand (7th PHI ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For PG: Troy Bourke (107).

INJ:
Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+

Prince George:
#21, Shane Pilling, Upper body, day to day
#23, Austin Daae, Upper body, day to day
#27, Alex Forsberg, Lower body, day to day

LEADING SCORERS:

Crooks (32-30-62)
Nelson (21-33-54)
Soudek (23-28-51)
Rintoul (15-31-46)
Magee (20-23-43)

Bourke (12-30-42)
Carlson (8-26-34)
Forsberg (12-19-31)
Asuchak (15-14-29)
Fraser (15-11-26)

REMAINING GAMES:
Victoria 11: Home (6), Road (5)

Feb. 25 at Prince George
Feb. 28 Spokane
Feb. 29 Spokane
Mar. 3 Vancouver
Mar. 4 Vancouver
Mar. 7 at Everett
Mar. 9 at Kelowna
Mar. 10 at Everett
Mar. 11 at Vancouver
Mar. 14 Portland
Mar. 16 Portland

Prince George 12: Home (8), Road (4)

Feb. 25 Victoria  
Feb. 28 Medicine Hat  
Feb. 29 Medicine Hat  
Mar. 2 Spokane  
Mar. 3 Spokane  
Mar. 6 Seattle  
Mar. 7 Seattle  
Mar. 10 at Kelowna
Mar. 11 at Tri-City
Mar. 13 at Tri-City
Mar. 16 at Kamloops 
Mar. 17 Kamloops 

Recap: VIC 4 - PG 2

Jared Rathjen earned his 1st WHL victory 4-2 over Prince George.
Jared Rathjen in his hometown, made 26 saves for his first WHL victory as the Victoria Royals defeated the Cougars 4-2 in Prince George Friday. 

Hayden Rintoul scored his 15th in the win.
The Royals move 4 points ahead of the 10th place Cougars, and take sole possesion of 7th, now 2 ahead of the idle Thunderbirds.  The Silvertips remain 9th, 3 back of the Royals after a 4-2 loss at Tri City.  Seattle has 2 games in hand, while Everett and Prince George have one.

Victoria never trailed after opening the scoring on Hayden Rintoul’s greal solo effort.  Dakota Conroy and Austin Carroll added two more to break a 1-1 second period tie.  Prince George cut the lead to one in the third, but Robin Soudek added his 23rd into an empty net, taking the first of the two game set.

Prince George got goals from Greg Fraser and Chase Witala.


Rathjen picked up an assist in his 1st win with 26 saves, while Drew Owsley stopped 21 in his 31st loss.

Rathjen commented on the victory:

 
Austin Carroll who notched the game winner, also fought Linden Springer in the third.  With the goal, Hayden Rintoul continues to lead all defenseman in power play markers with 13, and extends his point streak to 3 games (2g 2a).

The Royals power play went 1 for 2 on the night, now 6 for 15 (40%) over their last four.  Victoria stopped all three Prince George man advantages.

The two teams will meet for an eighth and final time in Prince George Saturday night, the Royals leading the series 5 games to 2.

Enio Sacilotto, the Royals assistant coach talked about the victory:

Post game enio sacilotto by Voice_VicRoyals
Victoria Royals 4 at Prince George Cougars 2 - Status: End of Game
Friday, February 24, 2012 - CN Centre - Prince George, BC

Victoria 1 2 1 - 4
Prince George 1 0 1 - 2

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Rintoul 15 (Rathjen), 6:12 (PP).
2, Prince George, Fraser 15 (Elynuik, Gibb), 14:23.

Penalties-Mykitiuk P.g (tripping), 5:10; Soudek Vic (checking from behind), 16:13.

2nd Period-
3, Victoria, Conroy 9 (Forsyth), 11:30.
4, Victoria, Carroll 7 (Jones, Cote), 17:55.

Penalties-Asuchak P.g (tripping), 5:46.

3rd Period-
5, Prince George, Witala 5 (Fontaine, Tkatch), 2:43.
6, Victoria, Soudek 23   19:58 (EN).

Penalties-Forsyth Vic (roughing), 0:28; Carroll Vic (major-fighting), 4:39; Springer P.g (major-fighting), 4:39; Cote Vic (hooking), 11:15.

Shots on Goal-
Victoria 8-10-7-25.
Prince George 7-9-12-28.

Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 2; Prince George 0 / 3.

Goalies-
Victoria, Rathjen 0-5-1-0 (28 shots-26 saves).
Prince George, Owsley 18-30-0-1 (24 shots-21 saves).

A-1,755
Referees-Andy Thiessen (11), Nathan Wieler (18).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Richie Rogers (101).

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Preview: Victoria at Prince George, Friday Feb 24th

Jamie Crooks tries to stuff the puck past Drew Owsley
The Victoria Royals (18-36-2-4, 42 pts), visit the Prince George Cougars (19-38-0-2, 40pts) for the first of a two game set Friday night.  Pregame show on The Zone @ 91.3 FM starts at 6:45pm.

STANDINGS:  Victoria is tied for 7th with Seattle, 1 up on Everett and 2 ahead of the 10th place Cougars.  Victoria has played one more game than all 3 clubs, and 2 points separates the 4 teams.

SERIES: It’s the final two meetings of the season, the Royals with a 4-2 record thus far, splitting their last encounter with a 3-1 loss last Saturday, winning the previous night 4-2 in Victoria.


Prince George 3 @ Victoria 1 (Feb 18 2012)
Prince George 2 @ Victoria 4 (Feb 17 2012)
Prince George 1 @ Victoria 5 (Feb 1 2012)
Prince George 4 @ Victoria 2 (Jan 31 2012)
Victoria 6 @ Prince George 5 (Oct 1 2011)
Victoria 5 @ Prince George 4 (Sep 30 2011) SO

LAST GAME:  The Royals are coming off a 6-3 loss to the Blazers in Kamloops Wednesday.  Victoria held the lead twice but the Kamloops power play struck 4 times and scored 4 unanswered for the win.  Prince George dropped a pair of road games in Portland Monday and Tuesday by scores of 7-2 and 8-1 respectively.
#1 Jared Rathjen stops a shot in Kamloops Wednesday. Credit: Kelvin Harrison
HOME & AWAY:  Victoria wraps up a 3 game road swing after Saturday night's tilt in Prince George.  The Cougars begin an 8 game home stand, with a 10 under .500 record in PG.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: The Royals power play has scored in three straight, going 5 / 13 = 38.46%, improving to 11th in the league.  They’ve scored the 12th most goals for overall, 6 short handed.

The Cougars have scored the fewest goals in the league, with the fewest shots for.  They have the 22nd ranked power play and have taken the 5th most penalty minutes per game on average.

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), and D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Prince George: D Ricard Blidstrand (7th PHI ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For PG: Troy Bourke (107).

INJ:
Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+

Prince George:
#3, Marc McNulty, Upper body, day to day
#21, Shane Pilling, Upper body, day to day
#23, Austin Daae, Upper body, day to day
#27, Alex Forsberg, Lower body, day to day

REMAINING GAMES:
Victoria:  Home Games (6), Away (6)
Opposition: Prince George x 2, Everett x 2, Vancouver x 3, Spokane x 2, Kelowna x 1, Portland x 2,

LEADING SCORERS:

Crooks (32-30-62)
Nelson (21-33-54)
Soudek (22-28-50)
Rintoul (14-31-45)
Magee (20-23-43)

Bourke (12-30-42)
Carlson (8-26-34)
Forsberg (12-19-31)
Asuchak (15-14-29)
Fraser (14-11-25)

Recap: VIC 3 - KAM 6

Tim Bozon, the rookie leading scorer, notched the game winning goal on a 3 point night to lead the Blazers past the Royals, 6-3 in Kamloops Tuesday evening.

Victoria held leads of 2-1 and 3-2 against the now number one team in the WHL, but Kamloops scored 4 unanswered, 3 in the third.  Victoria picks up a win and an overtime loss in the 8 game season series (1-6-1-0). 

Cole Cheveldave stopped all 8 shots he faced as he relieved and injured Cam Lanigan who allowed 3 goals on 7 shots.  Jared Rathjen made 25 saves in his 6th career start as the Royals were outshot 31-15.

Jared Rathjen made 25 saves in the defeat.
The Blazer power play struck 4 times on 6 chances, while the Royals went 2 for 3.

Victoria got goals from Austin Carroll, Logan Nelson and Ben Walker as Bronson Maschmeyer and Tim Bozon scored 2 goals and an assist each for Kamloops.

The Royals remain tied for 7th with the Thunderbirds, 1 up on Everett and 2 ahead of the Cougars, and they’ll play in Prince George Friday and Saturday night.  Seattle, Everett and Prince George all have one game in hand.


Assistant Coach Enio Sacilotto with his thoughts in the post game show:
 
Kamloops opened the scoring on Dylan Willick’s 26th collecting a rebound after Brandon Herrod hit the post just 2:11 in.  35 seconds later Victoria would respond after Austin Carroll tipped a Jesse Zgraggen point shot past Cam Lanigan.  The Royals would take the lead at 5:36 after Logan Nelson teed up a shot from the top of the right circle to go top corner for his 21st on the power play.  The Blazers would answer with the man advantage as Tim Bozon tipped in a point shot for his 29th to tie the game at 2 after 20 minutes.

Cam Lanigan wears Blazers jersey to honour local Tk’emlups Indian Band.
In the second Ben Walker would bury his own rebound on the power play to give Victoria a 3-2 lead.  Lanigan (stop 4 of 7) was hurt on the play and would be replaced by Cole Cheveldave.  Kamloops would add another on the power play by Bronson Maschmeyer with 1:23 left to tie the game at 3 after 40 minutes.

The Blazers would add three more in the third, the first two on the power play.  Tim Bozon would collect his 30th just 1:37 in, followed by Bronson Maschmeyer’s 12th at 6:20.  Dylan Willick would add his second of the night at 9:52 for a 6-3 final.

Victoria Royals 3 at Kamloops Blazers 6 - Status: Final
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - Interior Savings Centre - Kamloops, BC

Victoria 2 1 0 - 3
Kamloops 2 1 3 - 6

1st Period-
1, Kamloops, Willick 26 (Herrod, Bozon), 2:11.
2, Victoria, Carroll 6 (Zgraggen, Jones), 2:46.
3, Victoria, Nelson 21 (Rintoul, Magee), 5:36 (PP).
4, Kamloops, Bozon 29 (Herrod, Maschmeyer), 14:39 (PP).

Penalties-Bell Kam (interference), 4:12; Walker Vic (hooking), 13:44.

2nd Period-
5, Victoria, Crooks 32 (Walker, Rintoul), 4:19 (PP).
6, Kamloops, Maschmeyer 11 (Smith, Ranford), 18:37 (PP).

Penalties-Stahl Vic (roughing), 0:44; Lipon Kam (roughing), 0:44; Ranford Kam (tripping), 4:00; Zgraggen Vic (checking from behind), 8:53; Forsyth Vic (tripping), 14:35; Stahl Vic (roughing), 15:52; Smith Kam (slashing), 15:52; Kanzig Vic (tripping), 17:10; Soudek Vic (kneeing), 19:53.

3rd Period-
7, Kamloops, Bozon 30 (Smith), 1:37 (PP).
8, Kamloops, Maschmeyer 12 (Smith, Lipon), 6:20 (PP).
9, Kamloops, Needham 11 (Hansen), 8:52.

Penalties-Soudek Vic (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 6:09; Bell Kam (major-fighting), 6:09; Gaudet Kam (roughing), 11:04.

Shots on Goal-
Victoria 5-5-5-15.
Kamloops 9-11-11-31.

Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 2 / 3;
Kamloops 4 / 6.

Goalies-
Victoria, Rathjen 0-5-1-0 (31 shots-25 saves).
Kamloops, Lanigan 12-4-0-0 (7 shots-4 saves);
Cheveldave 29-9-1-3 (8 shots-8 saves).

A-4,369
Referees-Pat Smith (12).
Linesmen-Michael Boisvert (111), Bevan Mills (98).

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Preview: Victoria at Kamloops

Jamie Crooks fires a shot against Kamloops
The Victoria Royals (18-35-2-4, 42 pts) visit the Kamloops Blazers (41-14-1-3, 86 pts) Wednesday night for their final regular season meeting.  Pregame show at 6:45 on The Zone at 91.3 FM.

LAST GAME:  The Royals are coming off a 3-1 home loss to the Prince George Cougars Saturday after defeating them the night before 4-2.  The Blazers have dropped their last two home games, a first this year, 5-4 to the Hitmen on Saturday and 3-2 versus the Rebels Friday.  Prior to the losses, Kamloops had won 5 in a row.  The Blazers are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are ranked 3rd in the CHL.

SEASON SERIES:  The Royals have one win in the previous seven meetings and an overtime loss.  Their last encounter was a 5-1 home loss on Jan 28th, winning the night before 4-2.

STANDINGS:  Victoria is tied for 7th with Seattle at 42 points.  Everett is 1 back, while PG is 2 back.  Just 2 points separates 7th from 10th, and each club has played 59 games. 

Kamloops with 86 points drops to 2nd overall with a Portland win Tuesday night, Tri City is just 1 point back of the Blazers.

WHO’S HOT:  Jamie Crooks had his 8 game point streak snapped versus PG, (6g 3a).  Ben Walker has 3 assists in his last two games.  Logan Nelson is 4th among rookies in scoring with 53 points.  D Hayden Rintoul is #1 among rearguards in power play goals with 12, and tied for 12th in d-man scoring (43).

For Kamloops, Brendan Ranford is riding a 10 game point streak (9g 8a), and is 11th in league scoring (76).  Tim Bozon is 2nd in rookie scoring with 58 points.  Colin Smith has a 4 game point streak (1g 3a).

SOME STATS:  Kamloops is 14 over .500 at home, have scored the 3rd most goals per game on average, while allowing the 4th fewest.  They’ve scored the most short handed goals with 16.  Goal differential per period (+24, +11, +37).

Victoria has out shot their opposition in 5 straight and 7 of their last 8.  They’ve only allowed 1 goal against while short handed in their last 5 (PK: 17 / 18).  The power play has scored 3 times in the last 2 outings (3 / 10) and is ranked 13th best.

LEADING SCORERS:

      KAMLOOPS           VICTORIA
      Ranford (34-42-76)  Crooks (31-30-61)
      Smith (30-39-69)     Nelson (20-33-53)
      Bozon (28-30-58)    Soudek (22-28-50)
      Lipon (17-37-54)     Rintoul (14-29-43)
      Herrod (22-30-52)   Magee (20-22-42)

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Kamloops:  Brendan Ranford (PHI ’10), D Austin Madaisky (CBJ ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For Kamloops: Tim Bozon (39).

INJURIES: For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+

For Kamloops:
#10, Chase Schaber, Lower body, day to day
#17, Jordan DePape, Upper body, 2 weeks
Suspensions #23, Austin Madaisky, 2 games

PREVIOUS MEETINGS:
Kamloops 5 @ Victoria 1 (Jan 28 2012) Final
Kamloops 2 @ Victoria 4 (Jan 27 2012) Final
Victoria 2 @ Kamloops 4 (Dec 3 2011) Final
Kamloops 6 @ Victoria 5 (Nov 30 2011) Final OT
Kamloops 4 @ Victoria 3 (Nov 29 2011) Final
Victoria 1 @ Kamloops 4 (Nov 25 2011) Final
Victoria 2 @ Kamloops 8 (Oct 2 2011) Final

DOWN THE STRETCH:
Victoria:  Home Games (6), Away (7)
Opposition: Prince George x 2, Everett x 2, Vancouver x 3, Spokane x 2, Kelowna x 1, Portland x 2, Kamloops x 1


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Recap: PG 3 - VIC 1

Logan Nelson is stopped by Drew Owsley in a 3-1 Cougars Win
Caleb Belter scored the game winning goal and added an assist to lead the visiting Prince George Cougars past the Victoria Royals 3-1 Saturday night.

Drew Owsley stopped 28 shots for his 18th win and 2nd star honours.  Keith Hamilton stopped 7 of 10 in the first, before being replaced by Jared Rathjen who saved all 17 he faced.

Tim Traber fights Reid Jackson
Victoria remains tied for 7th with Seattle, just 1 point up on Everett. The Cougars move to within two points of the Royals with two games in hand and will wrap up the season series next weekend in Prince George.  Victoria leads the series 4 games to 2, taking a split in the two game weekend set.

Prince George jumped to a three nothing lead in the first on goals by Daniel Gibb, followed by Caleb Belter on the power play.  Nanaimo product Greg Fraser scored shorthanded at the 18:55 mark, but just 27 seconds later on the same man advantage, Hayden Rintoul’s point shot got past Owsley to bring the score to 3-1 after 20 minutes. 

There would be no scoring in the final two frames.

Royals assistant Coach Ben Cooper on the loss:
 
It was their 5th sell out of the season, 7006.

Hayden Rintoul scores his 14th while on the power play for Victoria
Victoria’s penalty killing which was perfect in it’s previous four games, surrendered one goal on five PG attempts, as the Cougars also went one for five.

The Royals out shot the Cougars 29-27, putting out more shots than the opposition in five straight games and 7 of their last 8.

After five fights in Friday’s 4-2 Victoria victory, there would be two more Saturday.  In the second Keegan Kanzig fought Campbell Elynuik, and in the third Tim Traber squared off against Reid Jackson.

Jamie Crooks 8 game point streak (6g 3a) was snapped in the loss.  Ben Walker added an assist for 3 helpers in his last two games and was third star.

Up next, the Royals head out on the road for 3 games, starting with the number one team in the West, the Kamloops Blazers who’ve dropped their last two.  The Royals have won once against the Blazers, 4-2 on home ice on Jan 27th (1-5-1-0). 

Prince George Cougars 3 at Victoria Royals 1 - Status: Final
Saturday, February 18, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Prince George 3 0 0 - 3
Victoria 1 0 0 - 1

1st Period-
1, Prince George, Gibb 1 (Belter, Elynuik), 8:23.
2, Prince George, Belter 4 (Carlson, Blidstrand), 16:39 (PP).
3, Prince George, Fraser 14   18:55 (SH).
4, Victoria, Rintoul 14 (Soudek, Walker), 19:22 (PP).

Penalties-Jackson P.g (holding), 0:59; Walker Vic (tripping), 15:21; Springer P.g (slashing), 18:20.

2nd Period- No Scoring.

Penalties-Jones Vic (roughing), 1:14; Mykitiuk P.g (roughing), 8:17; Kralik Vic (roughing), 8:17; Elynuik P.g (major-fighting), 12:08; Kanzig Vic (major-fighting), 12:08; Bourke P.g (tripping), 14:13; Soudek Vic (interference), 15:30; Nelson Vic (high sticking), 16:06; served by Mykitiuk P.g (bench), 20:00.

3rd Period-
No Scoring.

Penalties-Jackson P.g (major-fighting), 8:23; Traber Vic (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 8:23; Siwak P.g (tripping), 15:58.

Shots on Goal-
Prince George 10-10-7-27.
Victoria 9-9-11-29.

Power Play Opportunities-
Prince George 1 / 5; Victoria 1 / 5.

Goalies-
Prince George, Owsley 18-29-0-1 (29 shots-28 saves).
Victoria,
Hamilton 17-30-1-4 (10 shots-7 saves);
Rathjen 0-4-1-0 (17 shots-17 saves).

A-7,006
Referees-Jeff Ingram (82), Colby Smith (57).
Linesmen-Jason Cramer (122), Ryan Gibbons (73).

Preview: Prince George at Victoria - Sat, Feb 18

Logan Nelson crashes the net in a 4-2 win over the Cougars
The Victoria Royals (18-34-2-4) face the visiting Prince George Cougars (18-36-0-2) in the second of back to back games Saturday night.  Pregame show on The Zone @ 91.3 FM in Victoria at 6:45 or online at www.thezone.fm.

LAST GAME:  The Royals defeated the Cougars 4-2 Friday night by scoring 4 goals in the second period.  Victoria trailed 1-0 after a first period which saw 5 fights.  The Royals got goals from Brandon Magee, Steven Hodges, Jamie Crooks, and Dakota Conroy.  Victoria’s power play went 2 for 5, while stopping all 7 of Prince George’s man advantages.

Cougars leading scorer Troy Bourke.
The Royals penalty kill has been perfect in their last 4 games (13 for 13).  Victoria held PG to just 20 shots, a Royals season low.  They’ve out shot the opposition in 4 straight and 6 of 7 games.

The Royals who snapped their five game winless streak last night, wrap up their five game homestand tonight (1-3).

SEASON SERIES:  Victoria now leads the season series 4 games to 1.  They’ll finish the eight meetings next Friday and Saturday in Prince George.

Prince George 2 @ Victoria 4 (Feb 17 2012)
Prince George 1 @ Victoria 5 (Feb 1 2012)
Prince George 4 @ Victoria 2 (Jan 31 2012)
Victoria 6 @ Prince George 5 (Oct 1 2011)
Victoria 5 @ Prince George 4 (Sep 30 2011) SO

D Tyler Stahl returned to the line up for the Royals
STANDINGS: The win moves the Royals into a tie with the Thunderbirds for 7th, 3 ahead of the 9th place Silvertips, and 4 points up on the Cougars.  Prince George has two in hand while Everett and Seattle each have one.

WHO’S HOT: With a goal and assist last night Jamie Crooks extends his point streak to 8 games (6g 3a), and is tied with Oscar Moller for 3rd all time in goals with 71.  Steven Hodges and Ben Walker had two point nights.  Logan Nelson has assists in back to back games and tied for 3rd in rookie scoring.

COUGARS STATS:  The Cougars have scored the fewest goals in the league, with the fewest shots for.  They have the 22nd ranked power play and have taken the 5th most penalty minutes per game on average.

LEADING SCORERS:

For Prince George:
Bourke (10-30-40)
Carlson (8-25-33)
Fo rsberg (12-19-31)
Asuchak (15-13-28)
Fraser (13-11-24)

For Victoria:
Crooks (31-30-61)
Nelson (20-33-53)
Soudek (22-27-49)
Magee (20-22-42)
Rintoul (13-29-42)

ISLAND BOYS:  The Cougars boast two local players, F Greg Fraser from Nanaimo, and D Cody Carlson from Victoria who is second on the club in scoring with 33 points.

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), and D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Prince George: D Ricard Blidstrand (7th PHI ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For PG: Troy Bourke (107).

INJ:
For Prince George:
#21, Shane Pilling, Upper body, day to day
#27, Alex Forsberg, Lower body, day to day
Additions #3, Marc McNulty, from AMHL

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+

DOWN THE STRETCH:
Victoria:  Home Games (7), Away (7)
Opposition: Prince George x 3, Everett x 2, Vancouver x 3, Spokane x 2, Kelowna x 1, Portland x 2, Kamloops x 1

Friday, 17 February 2012

Recap: PG 2 - VIC 4

Jamie Crooks had a goal, assist and fight in a 4-2 Royals win.
Jamie Crooks ‘Gordie Howe Hat-trick’, led the Victoria Royals past the visiting Prince George Cougars 4-2 Friday, night snapping their 5 game winless streak.

The win moves the Royals into a tie with the Thunderbirds for 7th, 4 points ahead of the Cougars, and 3 ahead of the 9th place Silvertips.

Victoria leads the season series 4 games to 1, and will play each other again Saturday night.

Keith Hamilton made 18 saves for his 17th win, while Drew Owsley made 22 for his 29th loss.  Victoria held Prince George to 20 shots - a new season low, and have out shot their opponent in four straight.

The Royals power play clicked twice on five chances while shutting out the Cougars on 7 opportunities.  Victoria has not allowed a power play goal against in 4 games.  D Tyler Stahl comments on the victory:
 
Logan Nelson lays the body to Linden Springer
Prince George led 1-0 after the first on Caleb Belter’s 3rd, a period which saw 5 fights by the 11:39 mark.  Keegan Kanzig versus Daniel Gibb, Jesse Zgraggen against Jesse Forsberg, Logan Nelson and Reid Jackson, Jamie Crooks and Greg Fraser, and Robin Soudek versus Cody Carlson.  The later two were given game misconducts.

Victoria scored 4 straight in the second, Brandon Magee’s 20th on the power play, Steven Hodges 18th, Jamie Crooks 31st, and Dakota Conroy’s 8th also with the man advantage.

The lone goal in the third belonged to the Cougars Jake Mykitiuk who cut the lead to 4-2, but it was as close as they’d come.  Assistant Coach of the Royals, Craig Didmon post game thoughts:
 
2nd star Jamie Crooks’ goal and assist extends his point streak to 8 games (6g 3a), and ties him with Oscar Moller for 3rd all time in goals with 71.  Steven Hodges was named #1 star with his goal and assist performance.  Ben Walker chipped in with a pair of assists for third star honours.  Hayden Rintoul had his 6 game point streak snapped.

Keith Hamilton stopped 18 shots for his 17th win.
Prince George Cougars 2 at Victoria Royals 4 - Status: Final
Friday, February 17, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

PG 1 0 1 - 2
Vict 0 4 0 - 4

1st Period-1, Prince George, Belter 3 (Blidstrand), 13:59.

Penalties-served by Nelson Vic (too many men), 3:43; Gibb P.g (major-fighting), 6:50; Kanzig Vic (major-fighting), 6:50; Elynuik P.g (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 7:21; Forsberg P.g (major-fighting), 10:41; Zgraggen Vic (major-fighting), 10:41; Jackson P.g (instigator, major-fighting, 10-minute misconduct), 11:31; Nelson Vic (major-fighting), 11:31; Carlson P.g (major-fighting, game misconduct), 11:39; Fraser P.g (cross checking, major-fighting), 11:39; Crooks Vic (major-fighting), 11:39; Soudek Vic (major-fighting, game misconduct), 11:39.

2nd Period-
2, Victoria, Magee 20 (Walker, Crooks), 5:00 (PP).
3, Victoria, Hodges 18   9:05.
4, Victoria, Crooks 31 (Nelson, Walker), 12:22.
5, Victoria, Conroy 8 (Hodges, Fransoo), 17:32 (PP).

Penalties-Nelson Vic (interference), 0:29; Zgraggen Vic (high sticking), 1:06; Mykitiuk P.g (tripping), 3:05; Walker Vic (roughing), 9:33; Gibb P.g (boarding), 15:40.

3rd Period-
6, Prince George, Mykitiuk 5 (Tkatch, Springer), 12:12.

Penalties-Nelson Vic (hooking), 7:05; Nelson Vic (inter. on goaltender), 9:51; Magee Vic (tripping), 16:29.

Shots on Goal-
Prince George 4-7-9-20.
Victoria 9-14-3-26.

Power Play Opportunities-
Prince George 0 / 7;
Victoria 2 / 5.

Goalies-
Prince George, Owsley 17-29-0-1 (26 shots-22 saves).
Victoria, Hamilton 17-29-1-4 (20 shots-18 saves).

A-6,311
Referees-Jeff Ingram (82), Colby Smith (57).
Linesmen-Jason Cramer (122), Ryan Gibbons (73).

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Preview: Prince George at Victoria

#19 Logan Nelson faces off against PG's Greg Fraser
The Victoria Royals (17-34-2-4, 40pts) entertain the Prince George Cougars (18-35-0-2, 38 pts) in the first of back to back home games Friday night.  The pre-game show starts at 6:45 on The Zone @ 91.3 FM or online at www.thezone.fm.

STANDINGS:  Victoria is in the 8th and final playoff spot in the West, 1 up on Everett and 2 points up on Prince George who have 2 in hand.
Tim Traber

SEASON SERIES:  Victoria leads the 8 game season series 3 to 1, their last encounter Feb 1st a 5-1 home ice victory.  After Saturday nights contest, they’ll meet twice more in Prince George Feb 24th and 25th.

Prince George 1 @ Victoria 5 (Feb 1 2012)
Prince George 4 @ Victoria 2 (Jan 31 2012)
Victoria 6 @ Prince George 5 (Oct 1 2011)
Victoria 5 @ Prince George 4 (Sep 30 2011) SO

LAST GAME:  The Royals are coming off a 5-3 loss to the Hitmen on Wednesday.  Victoria led 2-0 before Calgary clawed back, extending the Royals winless streak to 5 games.  Tim Traber had the ‘Gordie Howe Hat-Trick’ as Victoria held Calgary to a season tying low of 21 shots and no power play’s against. 

Prince George defeated the visiting Red Deer Rebles 3-1 on Wednesday, wrapping up a 5 game home stand with 2 wins – both coming in their last 3.
Royals #5 Keegan Kanzig defends against Htimen Alex Gogolev

WHO’S HOT:  F Jamie Crooks leads the Royals in goals (30) and points (59).  He’s riding a 7 game point streak (5g 2a) and has 14 points over his last 10 games.  D Hayden Rintoul leads all defenseman in power play goals with 11, is 10th among rearguards in scoring (42) and is on a 6 game point streak (1g 6a).

ISLAND BOYS:  The Cougars boast two local players, F Greg Fraser from Nanaimo, and D Cody Carlson from Victoria who is second on the club in scoring with 33 points.

X FACTORS:  The Cougars have scored the fewest goals in the league, with the fewest shots for.  They have the 22nd ranked power play and have taken the 5th most penalty minutes per game on average.

Victoria’s penalty killing has not allowed a goal against in it’s last 3 games (6 for 6), and held the opposition to under 30 shots per game during that span.  D Tyler Stahl returns to the line up after serving a two game suspension.

HOME ICE:  Victoria is 5 under .500 at home (10-14-1-2).  Prince George is 7 under on the road (10-17-0-1).

WIKI STAT:  The Cougars are the only team in Western Hockey League history to draft 2 brothers in the first round of the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft. Jesse Forsberg, a defenceman, was drafted 11th overall by the Cougars in 2008, and his younger brother Alex, a centerman, was taken first overall in 2010.

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), and D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Prince George: D Ricard Blidstrand (7th PHI ’10).

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s Steven Hodges (55), and Logan Nelson (108).  For PG: Troy Bourke (107).

INJ:
For Prince George:
#2, Dan Gibb, Upper body, day to day
#19, Jordan Tkatch, Upper body, day to day
#21, Shane Pilling, Upper body, day to day
#27, Alex Forsberg, Lower body, day to day
Additions #3, Marc McNulty, from AMHL

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+
#18, Brandon Magee, Lower body, day to day

LEADING SCORERS:

For Prince George:
Bourke (10-30-40)
Carlson (8-25-33)
Forsberg (12-19-31)
Asuchak (15-13-28)
Fraser (13-11-24)

For Victoria:
Crooks (30-29-59)
Nelson (20-32-52)
Soudek (22-27-49)
Rintoul (13-29-42)
Magee (19-22-41)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Recap: CGY 5 - VIC 3

Danny Gayle scored the game winner in 5-3 victory in Victoria
Brady Brassart and Joe Kornelson had a goal and an assist each as the visiting Calgary Hitmen got past the Victoria Royals 5-3 on Wednesday night.

After the Royals scored the fastest two goals in succession just 16 seconds apart
by Tim Traber (1g 1a) and Mike Forsyth to take an early 2-0 lead, Calgary responded with four straight.  Brady Brassart and Victor Rask tied the game at 2 after 20 minutes. 

Trevor Cheek and Danny Gayle scored in the second before Hayden Rintoul closed the gap to 4-3.  Just a 1:29 later, Kornelson added some insurance as the Hitmen regained their two goal lead.  There was no scoring in the third.

Brady Robinson, the Royals goaltending consultant thoughts following the game:
 
Brandon Glover is congratulated.
Brandon Glover made 16 saves for his 17th victory, winning both games for the Hitmen in the season series in his hometown of Victoria.  Keith Hamilton stopped 16 pucks for his 29th loss.

Victoria held Calgary to just 21 shots against, tying a season low.  The Royals did not allow the Hitmen a single power play opportunity, while going 0 for 1 with the man advantage.

Hayden Rintoul extended his point streak to 6 games (1g 6a), while Jamie Crooks pushed his streak to 7 games (5g 2a).

Victoria is now winless in 5, and own the 8th and final playoff spot in the West.  Everett is 1 shy, and Prince George just 2 points back and will be in Victoria for a pair Friday and Saturday as the Royals close out a 5 game homestand.


Calgary Hitmen 5 at Victoria Royals 3 - Status: Final
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Calgary 2 3 0 - 5
Victoria 2 1 0 - 3

1st Period-
1, Victoria, Traber 3 (Zgraggen, Soudek), 1:41.
2, Victoria, Forsyth 2 (Traber), 1:57.
3, Calgary, Brassart 19 (Macek, Cheek), 7:06.
4, Calgary, Rask 24 (Brassart, Humphries), 13:40.

Penalties-
No Penalties

2nd Period-
5, Calgary, Cheek 20 (Sylvester), 3:37.
6, Calgary, Gayle 12 (Trzonkowski, Kornelsen), 5:17.
7, Victoria, Rintoul 13 (Nelson, Crooks), 14:26.
8, Calgary, Kornelsen 10   15:55.

Penalties-
Helgesen Cal (major-fighting), 20:00; Soudek Vic (major-fighting), 20:00.

3rd Period-
No Scoring.

Penalties-
Sutherland Cal (major-fighting), 8:48; Traber Vic (major-fighting), 8:48; Roach Cal (tripping), 15:42.

Shots on Goal-
Calgary 8-6-7-21.
Victoria 7-9-9-25.

Power Play Opportunities-
Calgary 0 / 0; Victoria 0 / 1.

Goalies-
Calgary, Glover 17-12-0-0 (25 shots-22 saves).
Victoria, Hamilton 16-29-1-4 (21 shots-16 saves).

A-4,593
Referees-Adam Griffiths (36), Brett Montsion (54).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).


Preview: Calgary at Victoria

The Victoria Royals (17-33-2-4, 40 pts) entertain the Calgary Hitmen (32-22-2-1, 67 pts) Wednesday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center.  Pregame show on the Zone @ 91.3 at 6:45pm or online at www.thezone.fm.
#10 Ben Walker vs Brandon Glover

SEASON SERIES:  It’s the second and final meeting of the season, with Calgary winning in Victoria 9-4 back on January 3rd.  Logan Nelson had a hat trick for the Royals, but the Hitmen power play struck three times on four opportunities while Jimmy Bubnick led Calgary with 2 goals and 2 assists.

LAST GAME:  Victoria is coming off a pair of 3-2 losses to the Everett Silvertips last Tuesday and Wednesday and are winless in 4.  Calgary has dropped 4 straight, and 5 of 6 after winning 14 of 15.  During their past 6, the power play has dried up going 1 for 20, while the opposition has scored 9 times on 28 chances.  They wrapped up a 3 game homestand with a 4-0 loss to the Kootenay Ice on Sunday.

STANDINGS:  The Royals are 8th in the West with 40 points, 1 up on the Silvertips, and 4 points ahead of the Cougars who have 2 in hand, who will be in Victoria for a pair on Friday and Saturday.  The Hitmen are 6th in the East , 2 back of the Blades, and 3 up on the Pats.  Only 9 points separates 2nd and 6th in the Conference.

X FACTORS:  Some eye catching statistics relating to Calgary; 2nd most penalty minutes taken on average per game (24.75), and 2nd fewest shots allowed per game (27.35).  Short handed, they’ve scored the 2nd most goals with 13.  Overall the Hitmen have the 6th most goals for, while allowing the 10th fewest. 

Victoria has taken the 5th fewest penalties per game on average while scoring the 12th most goals per game in the league.

HOME ICE:  Victoria is 4 under .500 at home (10-14-1-2).  Calgary has only lost once to a BC division opponent in 7 games and are 5 over .500 on the road (16-11-2-0).

DRAFTED/NHL SIGNED PLAYERS: For Victoria: D Tyler Stahl (Carolina, 6th rd 2010), and D Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa, 7th rd 2011).  For Calgary, D Alex Roach (LA ’11), F Brooks Macek (DET ’10), F Jimmy Bubnick (ATL ’09), F Victor Rask (CAR ’11).

LEADING SCORERS:
Bubnick (26-31-57)    
Sylvester (18-38-56)
Brassart (18-26-44)
Rask (23-19-42)
Gogolev (22-19-41)

Crooks (30-28-58)
Nelson (20-31-51)
Soudek (22-26-48)
Magee (19-22-41)
Rintoul (12-29-41)

INJURIES:
Calgary:
#9, Jaynen Rissling, Lower body, 2 weeks
#19, Calder Brooks, Upper body, 1 week
Returns:
#11, Brooks Macek, from injury
#12, Joe Kornelsen, from injury
#16, Cody Sylvester, from illness

Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body, 1 month+
#18, Brandon Magee, Lower body, day to day
Suspension #7, Tyler Stahl, 1 game remaining

TOP PROSPECTS:  Central Scoutings mid-term rankings of North American players positions Victoria’s F Steven Hodges (55), and F Logan Nelson (108).  For Calgary, D Jaynen Rissling (165).

DOWN THE STRETCH:
Victoria:  Home Games (9), Away (7)
Opposition: Prince George x 4, Everett x 2, Calgary x 1, Vancouver x 3, Spokane x 2, Kelowna x 1, Portland x 2, Kamloops x 1

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Zone's Hockey Show

The Zone's Hockey Show runs Monday night at 7pm on The Zone at 91.3 FM.

Captain Hayden Rintoul fires a shot against Everett
This week, a recap of the Victoria Royals past weeks games, a preview of the Calgary Hitmen with Brad Curle, and Scott Didmon fills us in on the Victoria Grizzlies.

 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Recap: Everett 3 - Victoria 2

Steven Hodges is stopped by Kent Simpson in a 3-2 loss.
The visiting Everett Silvertips, paced by Ryan Harrison’s two goals got past the Victoria Royals 3-2 Wednesday night.

The Silvertips sweep the two game set by identical scores in their first two meetings of the season and climb to within 3 points of the Royals for the final playoff spot in the West.  Victoria with 40 points is tied with Seattle for 8th, with the Thunderbirds holding 3 games in hand.

Kent Simpson made 29 stops again to earn his 12th victory of the season.  Keith Hamilton made 26 saves Wednesday suffering his 28th defeat.

Victoria out shot Everett 31 – 29, while their power play went 1 for 2, stopping all 3 Everett chances.

Enio Sacilotto, Royals assistant coach following the game:
 
The Royals opened the scoring in the second on Jamie Crooks 30th, but the Silvertips would add a pair to take a 2-1 lead to the third on goals by Ryan Harrison and Ryan Chynoweth.  Dakota Conroy evened the score at 2, with Hayden Rintoul collecting his second assist of the night. 

With 8 and a half minutes left, Harrison would net the eventual game winner with his second of the evening, taking the full 4 points in the two game set.  They’ll meet next in Everett on March 7th, and 10th. 

The Royals continue their 5 game homestand (0-2) next Wednesday against the Calgary Hitmen.

F Taylor Crunk and his post game comments:
 
Ryan Harrison scores
Hayden Rintoul picked up 2 helpers to extend his assist streak to 5 games (6a).  While with his 30th, Jamie Crooks pushes his point streak to 6 games (5g, 1a) and is 1 shy of tying Oscar Moller for 3rd all time in goals with 71.  Ben Walker and Brandon Magee had their 5 game streaks halted in the loss.
Ben Walker's one timer blocked by Kent Simpson.
Everett Silvertips 3 at Victoria Royals 2 - Status: Final
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC

Everett 0 2 1 - 3
Victoria 0 1 1 - 2

1st Period-
No Scoring.

Penalties-Hodges Vic (tripping), 12:32; served by Walker Vic (too many men), 14:52.

2nd Period-
1, Victoria, Crooks 30 (Rintoul, Soudek), 2:16 (PP).
2, Everett, Harrison 15 (Bauml, Fowlie), 8:05.
3, Everett, Chynoweth 2 (Murray, Caron), 14:59.

Penalties-Murray Evt (holding), 0:36; Walker Vic (hooking), 12:11.

3rd Period-
4, Victoria, Conroy 7 (Rintoul, Crunk), 4:47.
5, Everett, Harrison 16 (Walters), 11:37.

Penalties-Bittner Evt (hooking), 14:45.

Shots on Goal-
Everett 12-8-9-29.
Victoria 5-8-18-31.

Power Play Opportunities-
Everett 0 / 3; Victoria 1 / 2.

Goalies-
Everett, Simpson 12-24-1-5 (31 shots-29 saves).
Victoria, Hamilton 16-28-1-4 (29 shots-26 saves).

A-4,227
Referees-Derek Zalaski (8).
Linesmen-Ryan Gibbons (73), Bevan Mills (98).

Preview: Everett at Victoria

D Ryan Murray of the Silvertips
Wednesday night the Victoria Royals (17-32-2-4) look to avenge Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the visiting Everett Silvertips (13-31-1-8) in their second meeting in two nights.

LAST GAME:  Everett lead two nothing heading into the third, on goals by Cody Fowlie (1g 1a) in the first and Dominik Bittner (1g) in the second.  Ben Walker cut the lead to 2-1 in the third, and Brandon Magee made it 3-2 on the power play with the goaltender pulled with 48 seconds left, but the Silvertips would prevail.

Victoria struck once on six power play opportunites, while shutting down all three Everett chances. The Royals outshot the ‘Tips 31-25 on the night and 14-3 in the third.

STANDINGS: Victoria with 40 points have a 2 point lead on 8th place Seattle, but the Thunderbirds have 3 games in hand. Everett with 35 points, takes the first of four meetings of the season and move out of the basement into 9th in the West, 1 point ahead of the Cougars.

PAST 10 GAMES: Everett: (5-4-0-1) Victoria: (3-6-0-1)
Brodie Clowes of the Olds Grizzlies AJHL
CALL UP:  Defenseman Brodie Clowes name has been added to the Royals roster.  The 6’2 180 lb reargaurd was a 5th round pick of the Bruins in 2010 and plays for the Olds Grizzlies of the AJHL.  In 43 games he’s amassed 13 points (1g 12a), and 52 penalty minutes.  He’ll wear number 26.

WHO TO WATCH:  Ben Walker extended his point scoring streak to 5 games (3g 6a), and Brandon Magee now has a goal in each of his last three, riding a 5 game streak (4g 3a).  Jamie Crooks had his 4 game goal streak snapped, but added an assist for 12 points in 9 games and points in 5 straight (4g 1a).  Defenseman Hayden Rintoul has an assist 4 games in a row.  Logan Nelson is 3rd in rookie scoring with 51 points.

For Everett:  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.  He has 20 points in 27 games.  Josh Birkholtz leads the team in scoring with 45 points and has 13 in his last 12 games. Forward Cody Fowlie brings a six-game point streak into tonight and has compiled ten points (3g/7a) in a nine-game stretch. Ryan Harrison is second in scoring with 38 points in 51 games and has 24 points in his last 21.  Kohl Bauml has 5 multiple point games in his last 12 outings and a total of 21 points (9gn 12a) the last 23 games.

X FACTORS:  The Silvertips have taken the fewest shots, while giving up the most in the league.  They’ve scored the second fewest amount of goals, while the Royals have the 11th most.  The ‘Tips have allowed the 4th most goal against in the league.  Goal differential per period, (-16,-28,-29).

The Royals bench last night during a time out.
SHOOT OUT:  Everett has given up the extra point in 8 of 9 games, only scoring 6 times on 33 attempts.

ISLANDERS:  D Josh Caron is from Campbell River, and D Lucas Grayson is from Port Hardy.

LEADING SCORERS:

Birkholz (24-21-45)
Harrison (14-24-38)
Winquist (12-18-30)
Fowlie (9-21-30)
Bauml (13-16-29)

Crooks (29-28-57)
Nelson (20-31-51)
Soudek (22-25-47)
Magee (19-22-41)
Rintoul (12-27-39)

IRON MEN:  Four Royals have played in all 55 games this season, Hayden Rintoul, Jamie Crooks, Steven Hodges and Mike Forsyth.

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 Panthers, 2009), Ryan Harrison, (Vancouver Canucks, F/A), Kent Simpson, (Chicago Blackhawks, 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).

INJURIES:

For Victoria:
#3, Zach Habscheid, Lower body
#7, Tyler Stahl, Game Misconduct, Major for Charging in game vs Everett

For Everett:
#9, J.T Barnett, Lower body, week to week
#19, Manraj Hayer, Upper body, day to day
#24, Zach McPhee, Upper body, 7-10 days
Suspension:  Brennan Yadlowski served 1 of 10 games.


DOWN THE STRETCH: 
Victoria:  Home Games (10), Away (7)
Opposition: Prince George x 4, Everett x 3, Calgary x 1, Van x 3, Spok x 2, Kelowna x 1, Portland x 2, Kamloops x 1