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Thread: Kamloops Blazers 28 & 30

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Victoria BC

    Default Kamloops Blazers 28 & 30 Sept

    4 3 in Shootout

    New kids on the block?

    Who knows?

    The upstart Victoria Royals (3-0) defeated the Kamloops Blazers (2-0-1) — the consensus favourites in the B.C. Division of the Western Hockey League — 4-3 in a shootout Friday night before 4,447 fans at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

    Paced by Logan Nelson’s regulation-time goal and then his winner in shootout, Victoria rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit.

    “We’re playing one of the top teams in the country [Kamloops is ranked eighth in the BMO Mastercard Canadian Hockey League Top-10 poll], and you can’t always expect to be playing with the lead. The guys recognized that,” Royals head coach Dave Lowry said.

    “There was still 40 minutes to play. As the game went on, we got better.”

    Victoria goaltender Patrik Polivka redeemed himself with three saves in the shootout after allowing a late third-period goal at 15:35 by Tim Bozon that Polivka got a pad on before the puck trickled across the line to tie the game 3-3. That was a tough break for a Royals club that had rallied to take the lead against a good team.

    “I stayed focused,” said Polivka, a rookie Czech import.

    “I like shootouts. It feels amazing, especially when you win.”

    Goals by Cole Ully, the second on the power play, gave Kamloops a 2-0 lead in the first period.

    A power-play goal from the point by defenceman Brett Cote, quietly outstanding, brought Victoria to within one at 1:57 of the second period.

    The second frame ended with Victoria holding a

    27-13 shots advantage, although Kamloops kept most of those shots from well outside.

    Nelson made a deft and daring move from the deep corner to sweep to the net to tie the score 2-2 at 5:52 of the third period.

    “That’s what I have to do. That’s why I’m here,” said Minnesota native Nelson, 2012 NHL draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres.

    Swift Victoria forward Ben Walker then picked the Kamloops defence clean behind the net to feed Alex Gogolev to make it 3-2 at 6:39.

    “We played one period at a time, and we played hard,” Nelson said.

    The result was tempered by the fact that Kamloops was missing top rearguard Tyler Hansen, scoring star Brendan Ranford and starting goalkeeper Cole Cheveldave.

    The Royals, however, were full value for the two points.

    Cote was named first star.

    “[Cote] plays against the other team’s top guys and with our youngest guys,” Lowry said.

    “That’s the trust we have in him.”

    The teams meet again Sunday in a 1 p.m. matinée at the Memorial Centre.

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  2. #2

    Thumbs up Good One

    Great game, terrific pace. Our Czech keeper didn't have his best night but redeemed himself in the shootout. We had tons of shots but made the Loops minder look good by landing most of those in his breadbasket. Gogolev has an adult/pro release, his goal was in the net before anybody knew what was going on. Bit disappointed about the 4400+ crowd, given the good start to the season and the positive press - I imagine it'll be about the same on Sunday, if not a bit less.

  3. #3

    Default Matinee

    3 0

    The real Blazers showed up this afternoon and the Royals didn't have an answer. Loops were superior in every department and shut our offence down almost completely. We took stupid offensive zone penalties in the first that didn't help (some were quite borderline as well). Rathjen got the start and acquitted himself fairly well, he couldn't control the rebound on the last goal but he did have to face 39 shots - got third star, which should be good for his confidence. Can't draw too many conclusions from this one other than Kamloops are one of the top teams in the country and our legs were a little lacking.

  4. #4

    Post Royals shut out in first loss of season

    Victoria Royals shut out in first loss of season


    Everything that went right, as the Victoria Royals opened the regular season 3-0 for the first time in the seven-year history of the Royals-Chilliwack Bruins franchise, went wrong Sunday afternoon at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

    The Kamloops Blazers (3-0-1) showed why they are ranked No. 8 on the BMO Mastercard Canadian Hockey League top-10 poll with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over the Royals.

    “We strung seven wins together [including the last four games of the Western Hockey League’s pre-season], and you can’t win them all,” said a philosophical Royals forward Brandon Magee.

    “We knew Kamloops would come out hard today [following Victoria’s 4-3 shootout victory Friday night against the Blazers that began the two-game WHL set]. Meanwhile, we were not moving our feet through the neutral zone. We wanted to go 4-0. But it’s one of those things. We’ll come back and learn from our mistakes.”

    Defenceman Brett Cote, in his quiet but effective way, has been among the best of the Royals in the early season. But the Victoria blue line did not have an answer for Kamloops’ speed and diligence in this matinee meeting as the Blazers scored once in each period through Brady Gaudet, Rob Trzonkowski and Colin Smith.

    “We didn’t have our best game today,” Cote said.

    “They outworked us and deserved to win. We have to come to the rink prepared and ready to work. Bad changes cost us.”

    Kamloops took three of a possible four points, and Victoria two points, in the weekend set. But there was an important point made by the Royals, Cote said.

    “Kamloops is one of the best teams in the CHL and we learned we can play with them,” noted the six-foot native of Oakbank, Man.

    The Blazers’ regular goaltender, Cole Cheveldave -- who missed Friday’s game because he was day-to-day with an injury -- returned to make 22 saves Sunday for the shutout.

    Victoria goaltender Jared Rathjen, making his first start of the regular season after Patrik Polivka played the first trey of games, was busy blocking 36 Kamloops shots.

    “They [Blazers] came in and played a good game,” admitted Victoria head coach Dave Lowry.

    “It’s exactly what we expected. We knew they would come at us hard. They didn’t surprise us. We put ourselves in trouble by taking penalties.”

    Kamloops didn’t score on its five power-play chances, but those penalties always seemed to come at junctures when Victoria needed to be building some kind of momentum.

    “They [Blazers] force turnovers. We have to learn how to do that, too,” said Lowry.

    The Victoria bench boss, however, put the situation in perspective.

    “We’re disappointed we lost the game. But, if at the beginning of the season, you had said we would be 3-1 … yeah, we would be happy.”

    ICE CHIPS: Victoria forward Steven Hodges, 2012 third-round draft pick of the Florida Panthers, missed Sunday’s game and is day-to-day with a lower body injury … The Royals play the Medicine Hat Tigers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Centre before departing on a four-game road swing through Spokane, Tri City, Vancouver and Kamloops.

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