“…Obviously when you’ve got Holmberg and Aviani and the years that they’re having, you’ve got to pay close attention to them when they’re on the ice, and we let it get away from us.” - Head Coach Dave Lowry
Patrik Polivka made 36 saves, but suffered his 10th loss as Spokane outshot Victoria 41-27. Eric Williams made 24 saves for his 21st win of the year.
“…in the second period we got away from our game, we got beat off pucks, we got beat out of the corner and we pulled some pucks out of our net…”
The loss snaps the Royals 6 game win streak and points in 8 straight, dropping the season series 3-1.
“This was a game where there weren’t many second chances in front of their net. We didn’t generate enough off of their net and we didn’t win the second and third opportunities game tonight…”
Victoria (27-14-0-2, 56pts) remains 3rd in the West, 2 points ahead of Portland whom they face Saturday night to wrap up their two game US road swing.
Spokane has won 6 of their last 7, and leap frog past Seattle into 5th in the West, one back of Everett.
The game was tied at 1 after 20 minutes courtesy of Brandon Fushimi’s power play marker, striking from the slot after going 12 games without a goal.
In the second the Royals were outshot 15-9 and were down 3-1 before Taylor Crunk scored his 5th on a breakaway to bring the club to within one, heading into the third.
In the final frame, Holmberg scored twice, including once on the power play to give the Chiefs a 5-2 lead. Jack Walker added his second of the year in the final minute with the man advantage to round out the scoring.
|A near line brawl in the dying seconds of the game|
“I’m glad they stuck together, they take a liberty on Austin Carroll, he turns around to challenge the guy who started it, and then he wanted no part of it. For our guys to get in there, that’s why we’re a good team.”
|The yard sale of sticks and gloves after the big mix up at the end.|
“You give up 6 power play opportunities, that’s not giving your team opportunity to win.”
Spokane forward Mitch Holmberg leads the league in points with 79 and goals with 41. Mike Aviani came in 5th in scoring, but had 2 assists and now has with 54 points.
On the road, Victoria is now 7 games over .500 (13-6-0-1).
|The Chiefs salute the crowd in the 5-3 win|
At the U-17’s with Team Pacific are Royals Tyler Soy (2g 3a) and Chaz Reddekopp (2a), playing the USA Saturday afternoon at 1 in the Gold Medal game.
Saturday night is Victoria’s second visit to Portland this season. Brandon Magee scored the overtime winner in a 3-2 victory November 9th. The Winterhawks have dropped their last 3 but are ranked 5th in the CHL, while Victoria received honourable mention for the CHL Top 10 this week.
Portland is without World Junior participants Taylor Leir, Nic Petan and Derrick Pouliot. Brendan Leipsic is serving suspension. Oliver Bjorkstand and Layne Viveiros were returned from their World Junior teams.
The Winterhawks fell 5-1 on the road Friday night to Tri City after dropping a pair of home games to the Rockets by 9-3 and 7-2 scores.
Victoria is two points up on Portland, but because the Winterhawks are in top spot in the US Division, they take the 2nd spot in the West. Portland has three games in hand as Victoria has played the most games in the WHL with 43.
The Winterhawks have scored the most goals for on average per game with 4.54. However they’re missing 4 of their top 7 scorers and 3 of their top 5.
Portland’s power play and penalty killing are both 5th best.
- Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 3 at Spokane Chiefs 5 - Status: End of Game
Friday, January 3, 2014 - Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
Victoria 1 1 1 - 3
Spokane 1 2 2 - 5
1, Spokane, Bechtold 1 (Proft), 11:32.
2, Victoria, Fushimi 12 (Fransoo, Magee), 14:05 (PP).
Penalties-Hodges Vic (checking to the head), 1:49; Playfair Spo (slashing), 6:22; Schacher Vic (delay of game), 9:27; Fram Spo (holding), 12:15.
3, Spokane, Zwerger 7 (Aviani), 1:39.
4, Spokane, Wedman 3 (Chartier, Stewart), 6:20.
5, Victoria, Crunk 5 (Fisher, Kohlhauser), 10:27.
Penalties-Gagnon Vic (cross checking), 15:14.
6, Spokane, Holmberg 40 (Aviani, Helewka), 11:44.
7, Spokane, Holmberg 41 (Gow, Fram), 14:28 (PP).
8, Victoria, Walker 2 (Cote, Polivka), 19:10 (PP).
Penalties-Aviani Spo (tripping), 4:36; Kanzig Vic (slashing), 12:22; Cote Vic (interference), 13:37; Walker Vic (hooking), 16:53; Wedman Spo (roughing), 17:14; Carroll Vic (cross checking), 19:51; Gagnon Vic (major-fighting), 19:51; Hodges Vic (10-minute misconduct), 19:51; Kanzig Vic (major-fighting), 19:51; Fram Spo (major-fighting), 19:51; Gow Spo (slashing), 19:51; Playfair Spo (major-fighting), 19:51; Zwerger Spo (10-minute misconduct), 19:51.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 2 / 4;
Spokane 1 / 6.
Victoria, Polivka 18-10-0-1 (41 shots-36 saves).
Spokane, Williams 21-9-0-1 (27 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Brett Iverson (24), Trevor Shively (11).
Linesmen-Jeremi Del Campo (44), Jason Michelbook (112).