(Kamloops Matters / Twitter)

In another hard-fought battle between BC rivals the Victoria Royals and Kamloops Blazers, game three of the first round playoff series saw Victoria taking the win with a score of 3-2 and solidifying the series at 2-1.

This is the first time since 2013 that the Royals and Blazers have met in the WHL Playoffs. Back in the 2013 WHL Playoffs, the Blazers scored a 4-2 victory in the first round and eventually advanced to the WHL’s Western Conference Championship before falling to the Portland Winterhawks in five games.

All things said and done this year, the Royals finished the regular season second in the WHL’s BC Division, while the Blazers’ dramatic run earned them third place in the BC Division.

The first period kicked off with Blazers Nation rising to their feet in the Sandman Centre after a crushing hit on Royals’ Schultz – the physical play continued and spurred a powerplay for each team respectively, though neither resulted in any goals. Victoria’s Carson Miller opened the scoring at 17:36 of the first after a too-close crossbar shot, and Kamloops’ Jermaine Loewen tied it up with less than one minute to go, making it 1-1 after 20 minutes.

Though the second period saw no goals, there was certainly plenty of action from both teams – Kody McDonald and Luke Zazula dropped the mitts in a spirited spar, and Blazers’ Stuart rocked Royals’ Smith in a jarring hit, the rough stuff earning roughing penalties for both teams. A 4 on 3 powerplay also saw the Blazers’ goalie Ferguson make an athletic save on a wicked shot from the very busy Royals’ McDonald.

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In a just-as-physcial third period, Blazers’ Zazula earned himself a roughing penalty, though Kamloops bit back with a shorthanded goal quickly thereafter. In an impressive wrap-around, Victoria’s Cutler evened out the score once more. Veteran goaltender Griffen Outhouse even gained himself a point with an assist on Kody McDonald’s third goal of the playoffs, which saw the Royals go up for their final score of 3-2 over the Blazers.

The two teams are back at it again tomorrow night, March 27th at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops once more, with puck drop happening at 7:00 p.m. You can watch tomorrow’s game online, and the Victoria Royals will return home for what will no doubt be a rockin’ game 5 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday, March 30th – puck drop for this bout will be at 7:05 p.m., and tickets are still available!

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

Victoria Royals

  • When:
    • Saturday, March 30th at 7:05 p.m. – Victoria Royals vs. Kamloops Blazers – next home game, and game 5 of first round series
  •  Where: Save On Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
  • Tickets: Playoff tickets can be purchased in-person or online

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