by Marlon Martens

Alex Gogolev had a 4 point night as the Victoria Royals (25-17-1-2, 53pts) won 5-4 on the road against the Kamloops Blazers (30-14-2-3, 65pts).

Brandon Magee scored the final two goals in the third period as the Royals came from behind to win for a 10th time when trailing after 40 minutes.

It was the first time the club has won in Kamloops since relocating to Victoria. The Royals win their team record 5th straight, and 3rd victory over the Blazers in a span of 5 days.

“It’s a huge win for us, especially in this building… coming back, getting the victory is huge – it’s a great way to end a 4 game week with 8 points.” Enio Sacilotto, Royals Assistant Coach

Victoria takes a 4-3 series lead, and wraps up a 4 game in 5 night stretch, winning all 4. They’ll meet once more March 5th in Kamloops.

Matt Needham opened the scoring collecting a rebound after a point shot changed direction several times. The Royals Brandon Fushimi scored his 3rd of the year just 9 seconds later to even the score. Patrik Polivka would make 17 stops to keep the game even at 1 after 1.

Steven Hodges would give Victoria their first lead of the game in the 2nd period, batting the puck between his legs through Kozun for his 19th. Alex Gogolev would then convert on the power play to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. Kamloops would respond with 3 goals in a span of 1:43. Marek Hrbas on the power play, and then a pair by Needham collecting the hat trick in the process to give the Blazers a 4-3 lead heading into the third.

Brandon Magee would tie the game and then give the Royals the lead, both on the power play. Polivka would rob Kale Kessey on a short handed breakaway and weather a late surge by Kamloops for the 5-4 victory.

Patrik Polivka was busy in the first stopping 17 of 18, and 28 in total on his way to his 21st win, the most by a goaltender in Royals team history. Taran Kozun started, but was replaced after allowing 4 goals on 15 shots. Cole Cheveldave stopped 5 of 6 in relief.

The Royals power play continues to produce, going 3 for 10 on the night and 14 for 35 (40%) over their last 6 games. Sacilotto was pleased with the man advantage,

“Real good to get hot again on the power play, we all know special teams win or lose games for you, tonight’s a perfect example of how the power play won the game for us.”

Steven Hodges has scored in each of his last 5 games, now 8 goals in that stretch and 9pts (8g 1a). Alex Gogolev had a goal and 3 assists, extending his point streak to 6 games (3g 12a) and 15 points. Brandon Magee with two goals and assist extends his point streak to 6 games (3g 6a) with 9 points. The line of Hodges, Magee and Gogolev combined for 8 points. Austin Carroll and Brett Cote chipped with with 2 assists, Cote also had a pair the night before in Vancouver.

The Royals saw Mitch Deacon return to the lineup, but played without 5 members due to injury. Logan Nelson (Lower, 3-4 weeks), Ben Walker (Upper, 3-7 days), Luke Harrison (Upper, indefinite), Tim Traber (Lower, 5-7 days), and Jamie Crooks. 15yr old Tyler Soy played his 4th WHL game.