Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Victoria Royals to host Teddy Bear Toss and Christmas Classic this weekend


Get your throwing arms ready Victoria, and bring along some Christmas spirit while you’re at it, as the Royals welcome the Tri-City Americans to town for one of the best combos of themed nights the Royals have to offer.

This Friday, December 16th, the Royals will participate in their annual Teddy Bear Toss game. It is without a doubt one of the coolest, most heartwarming hockey events of the season. The moment a Royals player finds the back of the net and tickles the twine, Save-On Foods Memorial Centre erupts with a storm of teddy bears from the stands, which are subsequently donated to local kids in need.

It’s one of a kind, and you don’t want to miss it.

On Saturday, December 17th, the Royals will be responsible for the most Christmas spirit per square foot in town as part of their Christmas Classic night. There will be a holiday market in the concourse featuring 10 local vendors, a Christmas sweater contest sure to generate a smile or two, and Christmas carollers throughout the arena.

For both games Santa will be in the building ready to take free Christmas photos of you and your family. Bring your cute Royals attire for your kids, skip the line at the mall, and if you’re one of the lucky ones, just maybe your one year old child won’t be bawling in Santa’s lap for the photos.

Finally, fans interested in both games can get tickets for the second game 50% off. 

Puck drop Friday is at 7:05 p.m., and 6:05 p.m. on Saturday.

Pair of former Kelowna Rockets provide much needed spark

Former Kelowna Rockets forward Jake Poole and goaltender Nicholas Cristiano have given the Royals a much needed jolt this season.

Poole has been among the most consistent forward for Victoria this year, producing 7 multi point games en route to a team leading 16 goals and 28 points in 29 games.

Cristiano, meanwhile, has provided a spark between the pipes, having a recent run of 5 consecutive games from December 2nd to the 9th where he had let in 3 goals or less and picked up two wins. He’s been pulled in two consecutive games, however, so he’ll be looking to regroup and get back on track.

Goaltenders’ stats are significantly impacted by the play of the five man unit in front of them, but that unit also can play more confidently when they have a goalie they trust.

With back-to-back games this weekend, look for Logan Cunningham to get a chance between the pipes once more.

Royals are entertaining at Save-On Foods Memorial Centre

The optimist’s view on the Royals current season is that at least putting on more of a show for the home fans at the Barn on Blanshard.

The Royals average 1.47 goals per game on the road, where they have collected 2 wins from 15 road contests.

At home, however, the Royals are scoring 3.19 goals per game, which is much closer to league average. It hasn’t resulted in a ton more wins – they’ve secured 3 from 16 home games – but they’re proving to be more competitive in front of the home crowd, which is exactly what you want.

Curiously, the Royals are more defensively porous at home, allowing 5.16 goals against per game at SOFMC compared to 4.13 on the road.

Tri-City is plugging along at exactly .500 with a 14-14-0-0 record, and they play high event hockey – allowing 4 goals per game but also scoring 3.75.

We will see if the Royals’ are able to exploit the Americans’ mediocre defensive game at the Barn on Blanshard this weekend!

Jeremy Weeres
Jeremy Weeres
Victoria Royals and hockey writer at Victoria Buzz

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