© Copyright – 2018 – Victoria Sports News
The Victoria Royals hosted the Portland Winterhawks for Game 2 of their two-game back-to-back set at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre on Wednesday. The Royals won 7-4 Tuesday night and the Winterhawks turned the tables and won 7-2 Wednesday in a near mirror image result.
Asked what the difference was between the two games, Coach Dan Price said, “I liked us early, we were in control, 2-0 while playing five-on-five hockey, but the difference was a lot of minor penalties and retaliation penalties. Some penalties were just from a lack of concentration and lack of discipline. That put us in a 4-on-4 situation, 4-on-5, 3-on-5 situations and then all of sudden the tide starts turning. Against a team like the Winterhawks, the moment you deviate from the process, you put yourself at risk and that’s what happened tonight.”
The Royals took a 2-0 lead during the first period. Ty Yoder scored his very first Western Hockey League goal at 6:11. The 5’9” 190-pound rookie jammed the puck in glove-side on goaltender Shane Farkas. The line was buzzing the Winterhawks end when Yoder found himself alone just long enough to get the goal. Assists went to Brandon Cutler and D-Jay Jerome.
Yoder hails from Tofield, Alberta and was a fifth-round 2017 pick for the Royals.
“It was good he got that tonight. He is going to be a big part of this team going forward. I just wish we would have had a better result for him,” said Scott Walford.
Walford scored his third of the season with a fine drop-pass deep in the slot by Phillip Schultz. Walford neatly backhanded and roofed the puck top right corner. Tarun Fizer, who earned his first hat-trick in the WHL on Tuesday, was awarded the second assist on the play.
“My dad always told me growing up “take what the game gives you”. I didn’t really have a forehand shot on that goal, so I just went backhand and put it up high,” said Walford.
As expected there was a little emotion in the game early and the Winterhawks paid for it with a pair of penalties early. At 45 seconds Matthew Quigley took two for cross-checking as he flattened Dino Kambeitz in the slot, after the whistle. Reece Newkirk sat for a minor for goaltender interference, but the Royals powerplay was not capitalizing.
The second period saw the Winterhawks come out with a vengeance. Tuesday, the Royals scored five consecutive goals in the middle of the game, the tables were turned Wednesday when the Winterhawks scored seven unanswered, to erase the 2-0 deficit.
Ryan Hughes scored his 11th and 12th during the second, while Seth Jarvis scored his sixth and Joachim Blichfeld picked up his 28th and 29th
The teams skated to the dressing rooms for the second intermission with the Winterhawks up 4-2.
The Royals failed to score on five powerplays. In contrast, the Winterhawks capitalized on three of four opportunities, chasing Outhouse for the rare pull at 6:46 if the third. Rookie Brock Gould took to the net.
“Outhouse likes to play every game. So that was the plan before the night started. We said we will pull you if it starts to go sideways, so you can play the other two games this week,” said General Manager Cam Hope.
Blichfeld’s two goals, one shorthanded at 17:32 of the second the other was the seventh Winterhawks goal that came at 8:05 of the third. It was the first shot on Gould, who settled in the net and made several more saves after that play.
Blichfeld, who is a Dane and a 2016 San Jose Sharks seventh-round draft pick leads the Winterhawks with his 59 points scored in 32 games so far this season. He surpassed last season’s total of 56 points in 56 games and the previous season with 58 in 63 games played.
The Winterhawks outshot the Royals 29-24.
The Royals get a light practice Thursday to get ready to play the Prince George Cougars Friday and the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, before hitting the road to make way for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships.
They will play six on the road and will return to Save-on-Foods Memorial centre for a tilt with the Kamloops Blazers on Wednesday, January 9th.