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Tarun Fizer, bends the stick, as he leans into his wrist shot. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

The Victoria Royals got rewarded with a win after a second-consecutive dominating effort over the Seattle Thunderbirds Wednesday night with a 5-3 win.

“There were two main things; first there was the response after a tough night last night, where we played well. To come out with the response that we did tonight I thought was excellent. Gouldy responded and the team responded,” said Coach Dan Price. “The second thing would be the finish. You know there were still a lot of chances that didn’t go in tonight. The second thing would be the finish. There were still a few plays that didn’t go in. A few good saves by Ross, there were a few more posts again tonight. For the most part tonight, when we got around the net, when we had a high–quality chance we finished it. That was a big difference in the game.”

The Victoria Royals looking to carry over their dominating play from Tuesday night got off to a rough start on Wednesday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre – not the response that they were looking for.

At 47 seconds, Henrik Rybinski crashed Royals goaltender Brock Gould sending him to the ice. As the two slid into the net, so did the puck and the goal counted. It was Rybinski’s third of the season. Tyler Carpendale earned the only assist on the goal.

Later in the period, the Royals benefitted from back-to-back powerplays, however, looked disorganized and failed to set up in the Thunderbirds end until 17:09. With 26 seconds remaining in the second penalty, Phillip Schultz received a Scott Walford pass in the deep slot and buried the puck along the ice, stick-side on goaltender Roddy Ross. D-Jay Jerome picked up the second assist on the play.

The two powerplays were the result of forcing the play in the Thunderbirds end; the beginning of the response needed to bounce back with a win before heading out on a five-game road trip.

The period would end tied 1-1 and as per Tuesday, the Royals outshot the Thunderbirds by a 2-to-1 margin, 13-6.

The Royals continued to dominate the Thunderbirds during the second period, and this time they were rewarded for their efforts with goals at 3:52 and 6:57 by Kaid Oliver and Schultz respectively. Schultz, with 10 on the season, earned his second of the game.

Kody McDonald sent a pass through the slot on the rush and Oliver buried the puck by Ross, a second assist went to Walford.

Tanner Sidaway was finally rewarded for his excellent play with a second assist on Schultz’s second goal – 10th of the season. Sean Gulka earned the first assist and then subsequently got into a scrap with Cade McNelly.

The two went toe-to-toe exchanging at least a dozen straight right hands. Both landed several, with McNelly gaining an edge and tackling Gulka to the ice. Both earned a game misconduct and five-minutes for fighting. Gulka would leak a little blood, but would otherwise shake it off. Being tossed from the game, he would remain one goal shy of a Gordie Howe hat-trick.

At 4:44 of the third period, the Thunderbirds got to within one with a goal from Andrej Kukuca with his 15th of the season. Gould had made an initial save, that bounced back in front of him and Kukuca with his second shot on the foray buried the puck up high. Gould would want the goal back.

The 6’3″ 19–year-old Jameson Murray is a Kelowna native.. He turns 20 on Sunday. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Ten seconds later, Dino Kambeitz drove a shot from the deep shot past Ross for his eighth of the season. Tarun Fizer spotted him cruising into the slot and fed him a nifty pass. Walford picked up his third assist on the night.

“That goal, I think was the turning point of the game, it was huge,” said Walford.

With Mitchell Prowse sitting for two minutes for High Sticking, Kukuca scored his second on the night, from the edge of the blue paint. Gould was stuck, unable to move laterally because he was on his knees and Kukuca, shot the puck backhand into the gaping net.

With Ross pulled in favour of the extra attacker Schultz would complete the hat-trick into the empty net.

Schultz is a Rodovre, Denmark native. This is the 18-year-old’s first season with the Royals. So far this season he has scored 11 goals and picked up eight assists in 42 games played.

“I was really happy for Schultzy. He’s been hard on himself at times. He has hit a lot of posts and had a lot of nice plays where he just didn’t score and it was nice for him to finally get rewarded tonight. Hopefully, it is his first night of many that he gets rewarded for his hard word,” said Walford.

The Royals outshot the Thunderbirds 39-25. Over the two games, they outshot the Thunderbirds 83-46.

The Royals went 2/3 on the powerplay, while the Thunderbirds ½.

The Royals now head out on a five-game road trip.

The Royals return home on Monday, February 18th, and Tuesday, February 19th to face the Kelowna Rockets in a back-to-back before they back out on the road.

 

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