Patrik Polivka looks to the scoreboard and celebrates his shutout Saturday night at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Patrik Polivka looks to the scoreboard and celebrates his shutout Saturday night at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Goalie battle, rookie sniper and rookie defence push Royals to four straight

Victoria Royals goalie Patrik Polivka is not letting his current opportunity get away

Patrik Polivka is not letting his current opportunity get away.

The Victoria Royals goalie has been in net for the past four wins though he won’t take the credit, at least not all of it.

He earned a 26-save shutout in the Royals’ 5-0 win on Saturday and will likely get the start against the Tri City Americans in Kennewick on Friday night.

“The compete level for the team has changed. They’re doing a better job in the games, they’re blocking shots, great job in the defensive zone. It’s team defence, it’s not just me,” Polivka said.

The 19-year-old Czech import earned the majority of the starts last year and this year but when he was pulled on Nov. 6 in a 5-0 loss to the Edmonton Oil Kings, Coleman Vollrath started and won three of the next four. Though Vollrath only gave up two goals in the Royals 3-1 loss on Nov. 16 to the Seattle Thunderbirds, the net was given back to Polivka in Kamloops on Tuesday (Nov. 19). The Royals won 2-1 and Polivka was named the first star for stopping 42 shots.

He named the first star in the three games since, as the Royals (17-10-0-1) have jumped to fifth place in the Western Conference standings, four points up on the Tri City Americans.

“It’s tough to take (Polvika) out of the net when he’s going in as the first star from three straight games,” said Royals head coach Dave Lowry on Monday.

“The whole thing now is it doesn’t matter for us who’s in the net. They’ve both gone into tough buildings and won games and our group is confident in each one of those guys.”

For Vollrath, it was beating the Seattle Thunderbirds (13-9-1-3) and Portland Winterhawks (18-5-2-1) in back-to-back nights Nov. 15 and 16.

For Polivka, it was Wednesday, when the Royals went into Kelowna and won 4-1 over the Rockets. That win is standing out as the biggest of the Royals’ seven wins in the past eight games.

“Winning against Kelowna was unreal, they’re a top team in the country,” Polivka said.

“That is a game you know your team is going to be prepared for and it was great for our team to go into the third period tied (1-1) and find a way to win the game,” Lowry said.

While the goaltending battle is one of the easiest areas to credit during the recent winning streak there is also the matter of the Royals’ offensive explosion, popping 11 goals on the Blazers in two games this weekend. And there’s more, as 16-year-old Tyler Soy scored the first goal of the game on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Blazers and Rockets, then scored two more against the Blazers on Saturday.

Meanwhile the defence has made up for the loss of 17-year-old Joe Hicketts, who was playing at least half the game when he went down injured, and 20-year-old Jordan Fransoo, who won’t be back for another four weeks.

“We’re missing some top guys especially in defence but I think our young guys stepped up and are doing a really good job,” Polivka said.

Ryan Gagnon, 17, might have taken on the most minutes in the absence of Hicketts and Fransoo while Keegan Kanzig continues to play a tonne of minutes, as does Brett Cote.

Rookie Chaz Reddekopp, 16, is now seeing regular minutes while 18-year-olds Isaac Schacher and Jake Kohlhauser have increased roles as well.

sports@vicnews.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police circulated photo of alleged cat thief actually woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Illegal goods seized in the simultaneous April 23 busts in Saanich and Sooke. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
RCMP drug busts net trucks, cocaine, cash and Hells Angels gear

Simultaneous searches coordinated between West Shore, Saanich and Sooke police

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

Most Read