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Some interesting hockey coming up tonight with Victoria area teams, led by the Victoria Royals and their amazing start to the 2017-2018 season. The Victoria Grizzlies are also in action at The Q Centre as they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals. In junior B (VIJHL), the Kerry Park Islanders visit the Saanich Braves and the Westshore Wolves visit the Peninsula Panthers.

The Royals, off to a franchise record 5-0-0-0 start with back-to-back wins against the Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers and an impressive win in Kelowna (8-3) Wednesday night, are in Kamloops tonight to face the 0-6-0-0 Blazers who are better than their record indicates and will be looking to win big.

It will be a tough match-up for the Royals, but the news that Anaheim Ducks’ draft pick Tyler Soy is back in the line-up is a huge boost for the team short on overage players.

The Royals’ Los Angeles Kings draft pick, hulking defenceman Chaz Reddekopp will be back with the team, however, there is no word yet on whether he will make the Kamloops game. With his size and improved offensive abilities last year, as well as having extended camps with LA, Reddekopp will be an important addition to the team.

Matthew Phillips, Dante Hannoun and Griffen Outhouse have been playing outstanding hockey. Outhouse earned WHL Goaltender of the Week honours last week, while Hannoun and Phillips, as well as Regan Nagy have recorded hat-tricks already in the young season.

The British Columbia Hockey League Grizzlies are 5-3 on the season and sit in second place in the Island Division, one point behind Powell River. They are getting notable play from the smooth-skating forward Marty Westhaver, who opened the scoring during their latest outing, and then scored the game-winner with a frantic and exciting finish to a 4-3 overtime win over Langley.

The Capitals are 1-7-0-0, expect them, like the WHL Blazers, to be ornery and desperate to win.

In the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (Jr. B), the Wolves can’t decide if they are a first-place team or the same-old-some-old win some – lose some Wolves of the past few years. Likewise, the Peninsula Panthers are rumoured to be greatly improved, but again occupy last place in the division.

The Wolves are in first place in the South Division, but are 5-3-0-1 and are coming off of a 6-2 loss to the Panthers, who finished last in the division the past two years and started out last over the first six games of 2017-2018. With that win, they are nearly .500 at 3-4; it’s early.

The Wolves did defeat the Braves 5-4 last week.

So who will show up Friday at Panorama is anyone’s guess, but they should have a stronger season, as should the Panthers.

The Islanders visit the Braves. The Braves have lost two in a row and should make for an exciting game at Pearkes. Braves and Islanders have a 6:30 pm puck drop, while the Wolves and Panthers have a 7:30 pm puck drop.

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