The Royals won 4-3 in overtime the night before.
The Rockets who reclaimed the #1 spot in the CHL top 10 earlier in the day extended their point streak to 13 games (11-0-2-0), while snapping Victoria’s two game win streak.
Victoria clawed back from a 3-0 first period deficit to make it 4-3 in the third before the league’s leading scorer Nick Merkely added the insurance marker into the empty net.
“When you spot a team three goals, to one of the best teams in the country, it’s hard to claw back from…” said defenseman Joe Hicketts. “We dug ourselves our hole…”
The game ended on a sour note with a pair of fights breaking out at the buzzer.
Former Royals netminder Michael Herringer earned the win with 30 saves, while Coleman Vollrath started for Victoria, but was relieved by Jayden Sittler after allowing 3 goals on 8 shots. Sittler stopped 17 of 18 in relief.
Victoria’s 4th best power play went 1 for 3, while shutting down the #1 unit all 3 times.
Kelowna scored three even strength goals in the span of 3:19 in the first period. Jesse Lees had a pair, while the league leading goal getter Rourke Chartier notched his 24th.
Brandon Magee struck on the power play in the 2nd, but just :07 seconds later, Tyson Baillie scored his 18th of the year to retake the 3 goal lead.
“You give up one seconds after we score, that was deflating as well…we battled to the end, but we have to clean up our starts.” Said Hicketts
Brandon Fushimi notched his 5th before the period was out just as the Royals power play expired to make it 4-2 heading to the third.
Joe Hicketts scored his 6th of the year to bring Victoria to within one, but Merkley’s 8th sealed the Royals fate.
Hicketts continues to lead all defenseman in scoring with 32 points after collecting 1 goal and 2 assists.
Lees was named first star with 2 goals and an assist, while Baillie had a goal and a helper.
The Royals made a trade following the contest, sending defenseman Keegan Kanzig and a 2nd round pick in 2016 to the Hitmen for 19 year old forward Greg Chase and 5th round pick in 2015 and 8th round selection in 2016.
“Greg Chase is dynamic and skilled player who can provide offense at an elite level in this league…we are looking forward to his arrival.”said Royals’ General Manager Cameron Hope,
“Saying goodbye to Keegan is especially difficult…He has been a big part of this team since the franchise drafted him. We can’t thank him enough for his contributions to the Victoria Royals, on-and-off the ice and we wish him every success.”
Chase who was drafted and signed by the Edmonton Oilers had 85 points last season, including 35 goals. Victoria forwad Brandon Magee knows Chase well, going to school together since grade 4, and playing hockey together growing up, both from the Edmonton area.
Up next Victoria faces the #7 team in the CHL, the Everett Silvertips on Friday, and the Regina Pats Saturday to close out a four game homestand.
Kelowna Rockets 5 at Victoria Royals 3 - Status: Final
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena - Victoria, BC
Kelowna 3 1 1 - 5
Victoria 0 2 1 - 3
1, Kelowna, Lees 4 (Coughlin, Baillie), 6:55.
2, Kelowna, Chartier 24 (Heffley, Stephens), 8:51.
3, Kelowna, Lees 5 (Gatenby, Linaker), 10:14.
Penalties-Nagy Vic (slashing), 4:03; Goulbourne Kel (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 8:51; Crunk Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 8:51; Goulbourne Kel (major-fighting), 12:08; Crunk Vic (major-fighting, game misconduct), 12:08; Merkley Kel (high sticking), 19:52.
4, Victoria, Magee 8 (Hicketts), 8:11 (PP).
5, Kelowna, Baillie 18 (Lees), 8:18.
6, Victoria, Fushimi 5 (Soy, Hicketts), 13:58.
Penalties-Chartier Kel (roughing), 5:44; Hicketts Vic (roughing), 5:44; Heffley Kel (holding), 8:04; Stephens Kel (holding), 8:38; Magee Vic (embellishment), 8:38; Chartier Kel (roughing), 11:57.
7, Victoria, Hicketts 6 (Brown, Walker), 18:17.
8, Kelowna, Merkley 8 (Bowey), 19:44 (EN).
Penalties-Carroll Vic (slashing), 1:48; Blomqvist Vic (high sticking), 8:04; Linaker Kel (slashing, roughing), 20:00; Southam Kel (major-fighting, game misconduct), 20:00; Stephens Kel (major-fighting), 20:00; Carroll Vic (major-fighting, game misconduct), 20:00; Magee Vic (roughing, major-spearing, game misconduct), 20:00; Reddekopp Vic (major-fighting), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Kelowna 0 / 3;
Victoria 1 / 3.
Kelowna, Herringer 3-0-0-0 (33 shots-30 saves).
Victoria, Vollrath 11-8-2-0 (8 shots-5 saves); Sittler 0-2-0-0 (18 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Mike Campbell (89), Mark Pearce (5).
Linesmen-Jeff MacAdams, Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).