Saturday, June 22, 2024

Victoria Royals returns home this weekend to battle Portland Winterhawks


The Victoria Royals have earned a much needed homestand this week, as they return home to start a three week, six game homestand for the remainder of November.

Victoria has faced a road-laden schedule, playing just 7 of their first 18 games on home ice —and with only two home weekend games thus far. They’ll be relieved to get back playing in the capital district after a 6 game eastern road trip where they only managed to secure one win through Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Royals will undoubtedly be fired up to play at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre this Friday and Saturday for a home set against the Portland Winterhawks. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. respectively.

Jake Poole proves to be key addition

Jake Poole appears to be exactly what the doctor ordered this season, as the struggling Royals have found someone capable of putting the puck in the back of the net. After the going pointless in his first 3 games as a Royal, the hulking 6’2 winger has tallied 8 goals, including two hat tricks, and 5 assists over his last 11 games.

Poole’s first year for Victoria will also be his last, given he is one of three overaged 20-year-old players allowed on the roster, but he’s been exactly what the doctor ordered since being acquired for a 2024 8th round pick in the WHL Bantam Draft.

Western Conference appears wide open

We’re about a quarter way through the 68 game WHL season, and while some top teams in the Western Conference have created some separation, the West is looking decidedly less top heavy than the East. The Eastern Conference has two teams—both the Winnipeg Ice and the Red Deer Rebels—who only have one loss through their first 16 or 17 games at the time of writing. That is pure domination.

Out west, however, the Portland Winterhawks (who happen to be our opponent this weekend) are the only western team looking to challenge for the league title at this point in the season. They’re sporting an 11-1-1-1 record through 14 games and will be looking to build on that this weekend in Victoria. It will be up to the Royals to thwart their high-octane attack which has averaged over 4 goals per game thus far.

Though the Royals are off to a poor start this year, the Western Conference (and the BC Division in particular) appears to be a rather middling group, and at any point a few weeks of solid play or a hot streak could put them right back in the mixer.

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Royals and Vic PD join forces for charity scrimmage

Following the weekend’s Friday and Saturday games, the Victoria Royals and Victoria Police Department will be playing a fun charity scrimmage Sunday afternoon. Members of the Royals and VicPD will be blended up to make two teams in a one-of-a-kind scrimmage match.

Fans can enter by donation (minimum $5) and enjoy the game which begins at 1:05 p.m. Following the game, fans can skate with the players from 2:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Victoria City Police Athletic Association, which works to create positive relationships between police and youth in the city.

Victoria Royals vs Portland Winterhawks

  • When:
    • Friday, November 11th, puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
    • Saturday, November 12th, puck drops at 6:05 p.m.
  • Where: Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street

Victoria Royals and VicPD scrimmage 

  • Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
  • When: Sunday, November 13th at 1:05 p.m.
Jeremy Weeres
Jeremy Weeres
Victoria Royals and hockey writer at Victoria Buzz

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