Gogolev stings former teammates


This version of Trading Places didn’t star Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, but instead two guys named Alex Gogolev and Zane Jones.

Both players involved in the Western Hockey League pre-season trade that sent Jones from the Victoria Royals to the Calgary Hitmen for Gogolev, scored in Thursday night’s 3-1 Victoria win over Calgary before an announced crowd of 4,739 at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

But it was Gogolev who had the most flourish with two goals, the winner in the second period and insurance tally into an empty net late in the third.

“I’m so happy today because we won,” said the 20-year-old from Russia.

“Everybody on our team played well.”

Asked if he was the subject of any verbal barbs from his former teammates, Gogolev said: “I just play hockey. I don’t listen.”

Jones opened the scoring by taking a turnover at centre and bearing down alone on Victoria goaltender Patrik Polivka, burying the puck for his fifth goal of the season at 12:37 of the second.

Forward Steven Hodges, a 2012 draft pick of the Florida Panthers who had missed the eight previous games with an injury, deflected a Logan Nelson point shot to tie the game at 17:37 of the second period. Hodges was darting and dangerous all night.

“It was nice to get back out there with the guys,” he said. “I was expecting to play on the fourth line to get back up to speed. But after the first 10 minutes, I felt really good.”

Gogolev, from close in, put Victoria ahead with the winning goal at 19:20 of the second period with his fourth goal of the season off a pass from Brandon Magee. The crafty Russian then sealed the deal with the empty-netter.

Chase Lang of Nanaimo, a North Island Silvertips midget graduate, is a 16-year-old rookie winger with the Hitmen. Lang almost had a memorable Island homecoming in the third period. But facing a wide-open side of the net with the puck on his stick, Lang couldn’t pull the trigger for the tying goal.

The Royals went 0-5 on the odd-man, while the Hitmen didn’t get a power play.

Chris Driedger made 26 saves in goal for Calgary and Polivka 20 for Victoria.

The Hitmen fell to 7-2-2, while Victoria is 8-4.

Victoria head coach Dave Lowry spent three seasons as assistant coach and one season as head coach of the Hitmen from 2005-06 to 2008-09.

“It’s not about me,” he said. “I was excited for the guys. This was a big win for our team against one of the best teams in the league.”