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Ryan Peckford. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

The Swift Current Broncos were in town Friday night to take on the Victoria Royals at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre for Country Night, which would have been the perfect time to score a hat-trick as several hundred cowboy hats were distributed and many more were visible among the 4,916 fans that were in attendance.

Dante Hannoun was the closest netting two goals in a 9-2 Royals route of the Broncos. In scoring, he kept his points streak alive at eight games.

“I wasn’t even aware of the streak until the other night,” said Hannoun. “I am just going out there focussing on what I need to do out there.”

Against the Broncos, the Royals spread the scoring around with eight different players tallying while twelve Royals earned points.

Tuesday, a series of single period and game points records were tied or broken. The most notable would be 17-year-old Ryan Peckford’s one goal and five assists as the club’s all-time total points record for one game, dating back to the Chilliwack Bruins. He earned three more Friday.

At the six minute mark, while on the man advantage, Jack Walker roofed the puck to the top right corner from the top of the left faceoff circle, for his seventh of the season. The Broncos were serving a double minor for high sticking. Chaz Reddekopp and Dante Hannoun assisted on the goal.

Thirty-four seconds later Eric Florchuk scored his first ever Western Hockey League goal, on a goal-mouth scramble. Assists were given to Carter Folk and Regan Nagy.

Broncos came back at 8:00 when Finnish defenseman Aleksi Heponiemi scored his fourth of the season from Kade Jensen. Heponiemi hales from the hockey factory of Tampere, hometown of several NHL greats.

At 14:34 Regan Nagy scored to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. Jared Dmytriw and Ralph Jarratt assisted.

Matthew Phillips had wanted to join in the scoring parade too and put in his own scrambly goal on the power-play, which came at 15:50 and was assisted by Tyler Soy.

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Puck is in the net, Royals score. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

Asked if he is finding a similar chemistry with Soy that he had with Forsberg, Phillips said, “they are such different players. Forsberg was very subtle with the plays he made, Soy might be more aggressive, but both are great to play with.”

At 16:23 Ryan Peckford got his second of the season. He was the last player to touch the puck that slipped between the pads of the Broncos goaltender Travis Child. The goal was assisted by Phillips and Ryan Gagnon. With the 5-1 first period lead, the Royals tied the franchise record for most goals in a period for the second game in a row.

During the second period, Hannoun scored from Reddekopp and Nagy at 7:23. Twelve seconds later the Broncos put the puck in the Royals net while taking out Griffen Outhouse. The goal didn’t count. Meanwhile Reddekopp who was throwing his body around all night took exception and took two minutes for roughing, much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd.

Asked about Reddekopp’s more physical play tonight Coach Dave Lowry said, “That is the style of play that he needs if he wants to make it to the next level.” Asked if the Los Angeles Kings have pushed for that Lowry said, “Well they like his size and the style he plays and if he wants to make it there, he will have to step up play that physical game.”

At 10:16 of the second, Mitchell Prowse scored his first of his WHL career from Gagnon and Peckford to move the score to 7-1.

With three minutes remaining in the period and shots already 33-19, the Broncos began to show frustration and the fists began to fly, with three fights happening at the same time in front of the penalty box. Calvin Spencer and Reddekopp were tossed.

Lane Pederson blasted a shot from the left faceoff circle to bury the puck for the Broncos’ second goal of the game, but as luck would have it, 18 seconds later a random shot from defenseman Ibragimov deflected off of Bronco player and flipped into the net – the goalie had no chance, Phillips and Peckford assisted.

The Broncos made a goaltending change in the third period when Hannoun scored at 1:21 from Jack Walker and Scott Walford. The score remained 9-2 from there on.

The Royals went 4/8 on the power-play, while the Broncos went 1/7. The shots favoured Victoria 47-27. Phillips, Peckford, Nagy and Hannoun each earned three points on the night. The Royals have scored 24 goals in the past three games.

The Royals next play Saturday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre as they host the Everett Silvertips who lost tonight in Kelowna 4-3 in overtime. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM.

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