The Victoria Royals’ bench was clearly frustrated with several calls made by officials in a 6-4 loss to the Kamloops Blazers at Interior Savings Centre on Saturday, March 23, but head coach Dave Lowry kept his cool during a post-game interview.
“Our guys battled through a lot of adversity tonight,” said Lowry, whose team is down 2-0 to the Blazers in a best-of-seven Western Conference quarter-final series.
“A lot of things did not go our way for whatever reason. Our guys stayed with the program and had a good push in the third period.”
Victoria, down 5-1 heading into the third, pulled to within one with less than two minutes to play, but Dylan Willick scored into an empty net to ice the game.
Joel Edmundson and Tim Bozon each scored twice for the Blazers, with Brendan Ranford adding a single.
Jamie Crooks, Tyler Soy, Austin Carroll and Brandon Magee tallied for the visitors.
Blazer netminder Cole Cheveldave made 20 saves and picked up the win. Patrik Polivka stopped 23 shots in the Royals’ crease.
Victoria’s staff in the press box brought into question a disallowed-goal call, which wiped a Steven Hodges marker off the board in the second stanza.
The score at the time was 2-0 in favour of the home team.
A member of the Royals’ staff radioed down to the bench to inform coaches that several calls made in the first two periods were “very questionable.”
Lowry had a brief chat with the officiating crew before the third period and, after the meeting, a referee addressed Blazer bench boss Guy Charron.
It also appeared Victoria’s bench was upset with Blazer forward Chase Souto, who was called for goaltender interference in the third period.
The Royals’ head coach offered these words when asked what the message to his team was heading into Game 3, which will be held at Bear Mountain Arena in Victoria on Tuesday, March 26.
“We’re not changing the way we play,” Lowry said.
“We’re going to continue to bring pucks to the net. We’re going to have to go to the net hard.”
“It’s clearly evident that you can go to the net. You can stop in front of the net and you can put pucks on the net.”