(Image / Victoria Royals)

Despite how rough and tumble the play has been thus far in the series, the Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers seem unfazed – chalking it up to good ol’ playoff hockey.

It was this emotional type of play that brought the Royals to their third win this first round against the Blazers, recording a score of 6-3 and successfully commandeering a 3-2 lead in the current series.

On the subject of said emotion, head coach Dan Price told Victoria Buzz post-game, “The main thing is you just have to stay really steady, really level, and use the emotion to your advantage – and not let it be a distraction.”

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Within the first four games of the post season match-up, the Royals and Blazers have a combined total of 97 penalty minutes – the second highest amongst all of the Western Conference first round series. Tonight’s game was certainly no exception, the emotion spilling over from Wednesday’s bout in a big way between the teams. 

Victoria opened the scoring in their own house, D-Jay Jerome banking it in after a lightning pass from Schultz only 1:27 into the very first period. Though Kamloops was able to bite back with Appelt scoring his first of the playoffs and evening the score to 1-1, the Royals made it 2-1 quickly thereafter, Schultz earning himself another point with the goal.

The second period saw even more physical action, the Royals’ rookie Noah Lamb scoring his first ever WHL goal on a 4-on-4 play that brought the enthusiastic 5,856 fans at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre to their feet. Period two saw three unanswered goals for the home team, prompting a goalie switch from Blazer’s Golden Knight’s prospect Dylan Ferguson, to Dylan Garand. The period wound down with a score of 4-1 for Victoria.

The third began with Victoria’s 20-year old goaltending dynamo Griffen Outhouse flashing the pads in some phenomenal saves, before Kamloops received a too many men penalty which they ended up killing off. The Blazers’ Stankoven got his first of the playoffs making it 4-2, before they pulled their goalie with 2:30 remaining and Royals’ Sidaway won himself an empty-netter.

Only one minute later, Kamloops’ Loewen banked another in, but the icing on the cake? The final score of 6-3 from a well-earned hat trick on another empty-netter by Victoria’s very own Phillip Schultz – he also became the first import-player in team history to record a hat-trick in the playoffs!

Looking ahead to the not-so-distant future, the Vancouver Giants’ win against the Seattle Thunderbirds tonight secures the Giants as the next team to play whomever wins the match-up between the Royals and the Blazers – in round two.

Game 6 returns to the Sandman Centre in Kamloops on Monday, April 1st – puck drop there will be at 7 p.m. If a game 7 is necessary, the Royals will be back home on Wednesday, April 3rd with puck drop at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are still available!

You can check out the rest of the series schedule here!

Victoria Royals

  • When:
    • Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:05 p.m. – Victoria Royals vs. Kamloops Blazers – game 7 (IF NECESSARY)
  •  Where: Save On Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
  • Tickets: Playoff tickets can be purchased in-person or online

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