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Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

The Victoria Royals, coming off of an emotional win Saturday night against the best team in the Canadian Hockey League, the Regina Pats, hosted the Kelowna Rockets Sunday night. The fear after an emotional win is of a let-down.

The Royals were playing without their points leader in Tyler Soy, who is down day-to-day with an upper body injury.

Asked if Soy will be back Tuesday, Coach Dave Lowry said, “watch the warm up Tuesday and you will see.”

If there was fear of a let-down, it was realized early as Leif Mattson scored for the Rockets at 2:21, unassisted on a Royals giveaway in their own zone – straight up the middle. The Stonewall, Manitoba native, was anything but stonewalled, as he walked into the slot and let rip a wrist shot that found the back of the net.

The Rockets were at it again 2:23 later where Rodney Southam scored the game winner; assists went to Jordan Borstmayer and Kyle Topping.

With the Rockets up 2-0, Ty Westgard lifted the stick of a Rocket’s defenceman in the slot, skated in and shot five-hole, but the referee called Westgard for hooking to put the Rockets on the powerplay, therefore the goal was disallowed.  It was a bad call.

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Carter Folk. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

After a handful of shots Griffen Outhouse was pulled in favour of back-up Dylan Myskiw. Myskiw played out the period, but was replaced by Outhouse in the second who proceeded to play much better. Myskiw had let in two goals on seven shots.

At 11:03 of the first, with a player on each team off for two minutes with off-setting penalties for 4-on-4 play, the Rockets completed a pretty passing play with Kole Lind given a gaping net to score his 11th of the season. Dillon Dube and Devante Stephens assisted on the play.

By the time the buzzer sounded to end the first period, the Royals were down 4-0 and were outshot 12-6.

For the second period, the Royals appeared to be a little more motivated, however, the Rockets continued pressing and countering and scored again to make it 5-0. Shots 22-17 Rockets.

At 9:40, Walker had seen enough and decided to kill the shutout bid that Michael Herringer was working on. He slapped the puck from just outside of the slot and Dante Hannoun deflected the puck into the back of the net. Chaz Reddekopp made a nice, cross-ice pass to Walker on the play.

The third period saw the Royals step up the play a little more, but couldn’t solve Herringer.

Outhouse began to stand on his head, stopping glorious Rockets’ opportunities. Herringer was no less impressive and despite a better effort from the Royals late in the game, it was too little too late.

Asked what the team will need to do different Tuesday when the two teams meet again, Lowry said, “win the opening faceoff.”

The Royals not only lost the opening faceoff, they went 1/7 on the powerplay, while the Rockets went ¼.

Shots were 32-26 Rockets.

The two teams get a day off and meet again Tuesday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

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