Believe it or not, hockey season is around corner!
The Victoria Royals are officially kicking off the start of an exciting new season with the release of its promotional schedule.
The team has announced 15 promotional games for the upcoming 2022-23 season, which always add an extra oomph to the arena experience and generates some buzz in the stands.
The calendar kicks off with the home opener on Friday, September 23rd against the Spokane Chiefs, followed by our beloved Marty the Marmot’s birthday celebration on Saturday, October 15th.
The year of 2022 is capped off by back-to-back doozies, with the Teddy Bear Toss on December 16th and the Christmas Classic on December 17th, sending Royals fans’ off into the holiday season with a bang.
Finally, February is a month you’ll want to keep in mind for Royals events as the insanely popular and meaningful Pink in the Rink is slated for a February 10th match-up against our neighbourly rivals, the Vancouver Giants.
It is followed up by Skate with the Players Day, a great time for the kids to see their heroes up close for an afternoon game on Monday, February 20th.
There are so many to choose from, but these are the three promo games in 2022 don’t want to miss.
Home Opener – September 23rd vs Spokane Chiefs, 7:05 p.m.
Do home openers even need any explanation?
Royals fans get to rejoice the fact that hockey is back, and with it comes a fresh batch of optimism and enthusiasm for the boys in black and blue.
You’ll also get rally towels upon entry to up the ante in the stands.
The Royals have been in the midst of a rebuild over the past few seasons and have therefore been selecting high in the WHL’s draft as of late.
Young, exciting talent is slowly being shepherded into the team and being given the reigns, and it may be time to see if youngsters such as Austin Zemlak, Brayden Schuurman, and Tanner Scott can take a meaningful step forward while the team continues to introduce their next wave of young stars.
“Kids Take Over” and Connor Bedard comes to town – November 26th vs Regina Pats, 6:05 p.m.
There isn’t a more appropriate theme than “Kids Take Over” for the only game the Royals will have against WHL phenom Connor Bedard and his Regina Pats.
More hardcore hockey fans will be interested in watching this one.
The 17-year-old Bedard is the only player in WHL history to be granted “exceptional status” by Hockey Canada (meaning he can join the league a year earlier than normal) and is the current projected first overall pick for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
He put up the 4th most productive 16-year-old season in WHL history last season, scoring a ridiculous 51 goals and 100 points in just 62 games. He is the first 16 year old to hit 100 points since Glen Goodall buried 112 at 16-years-old for the Seattle Thunderbirds way back in 1987.
Unfortunately due to Covid-19, over the past two years Bedard hasn’t made it to Victoria to showcase his stuff.
He will almost assuredly make the NHL next season, so this will be the one stop he makes to Victoria in his entire WHL career before he becomes a household name in the big leagues.
The game itself will have the Royals game day be ran by the kids while they show us adults how to run a Royals game and who’s boss.
Teddy Bear Toss – December 16th vs Tri-City Americans, 7:05 p.m.
The Teddy Bear Toss is certainly one of the most recognizable games each year on the calendar, as thousands of Victorians get together to cheer on the Royals and do a little good for kids in need over the Christmas season.
When the Royals score their first goal of the night, everyone in the stands throws a new or gently used teddy bear onto the ice to donate to kids in need.
The anticipation of an arena erupting with hundreds teddy bears makes for a fun atmosphere where the entire crowd is ready to see that first Victoria Royals goal so they can hurl a fuzzy, joy inducing teddy bear onto the ice.
Check out Royals forward River Fahey unleashing the mayhem for the 2019 version of the teddy bear toss:
Visit Victoria Royals to get your season tickets.