Victoria Royals open their playoff series with the Kamloops Blazers Friday night. (Jay Wallace photo)

Victoria Royals open their playoff series with the Kamloops Blazers Friday night. (Jay Wallace photo)

Playoff hockey is where memories are made for Canadians

Royals GM, players, fans and broadcasters share top playoff memories

As we move in to spring there are very few things that can get Canadians to move inside, but playoff hockey is definitely something that places Canadians in their local arenas or on their couches watching the game. Almost every Canadian has a hockey playoff memory, and as the Royals open their 2019 playoff campaign on Friday we have had a chance to read about some of their favorite memories along with a few of their fans.

Victoria Royals President & General Manager Cameron Hope

“So many… but one of them was on April 17, 2007. It had been 10 years since the New York Rangers had won a playoff game at Madison Square Garden. Michael Nylander scored in the first minute, and the Garden was raucous from that moment on in a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers (giving the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the series we eventually swept).”

Victoria Royals’ PA Announcer Cliff LeQuesne from 100.3 The Q

“This memory goes back quite a few years. Early in my career I was covering the WHL Final between the Victoria Cougars and Calgary Wranglers. The Cougars were down 3-1 but roared back and forced game 7 at the old Memorial Arena. Game 6 from Calgary was an afternoon game, so as soon as it ended people began lining up for Game 7 tickets. Terry Sydoryk, not known as goal scorer, won it for the Cougars at 18.07 [seconds left] of the third period. I can still hear the roar. Will never forget it. It also gave me a chance to cover the Memorial Cup in Windsor. A great Victoria hockey memory.”

Marty The Marmot

“Favourite playoff memory: 2018 tumultuous round one series against the Vancouver Giants! HUGE Game 6 overtime victory to even the series in Vancouver and then coming home to win Game 7!!! Will stand out forever for me! The fans were rockin’ Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre that night! Brings a happy tear to my eye!”

Shayla MacDonald, Royals Team Store employee

“My favourite playoff memory was when my team the South Island Royals Female Midget A went to the third and final game in our playoffs. It was a tight game but we all stepped up and played the way we knew we could. We ended up winning and heading to provincials.”

Victoria Royals longtime season ticket holder Doug Pinel

“Playoffs are all about passion and putting everything on the line, especially when it is the deciding game of a series. The two greatest playoff memories that I have aren’t great ones for the team that I was cheering for, but they are both moments that I will not soon forget. Sadly, my Royals came out on the wrong end in both cases … the heartbreaking game-tying goal that the Kelowna Rockets scored [with 0.2 of-a-second left in the third], and then proceeded to win in OT to eliminate the Royals. The other one was the game that went into five overtimes, before the Everett Silvertips scored and eliminated the Royals that year. Both of these games were in front of their home crowd and even though they lost, they put it all on the line to try and pull off the wins … great character-building moments for the players, coaches and fans!!”

Victoria Royals Play-by-Play broadcaster Marlon Martens

“The most electrifying playoff moment for me came back in 1994 when Pavel Bure of the Vancouver Canucks deked Mike Vernon of the Calgary Flames in the second overtime to win game 7 in Round 1 of the playoffs. It was amplified by the fact the Canucks came back from being down 3-1 in the series, and ended up making a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.”

Victoria Royals defenceman Scott Walford

“My favorite playoff moment was during the 2011 NHL Playoffs. I was fortunate enough to go to Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks where Kevin Bieksa scored the game winner in double overtime. It was amazing to see what that goal did to the city of Vancouver, sending them to the Stanley Cup Finals. That is something I’ll always remember and dream of being a part of in the future.”

Victoria Royals forward Tanner Sidaway

“My most exciting playoff memory has to be when I was playing for [my hometown] South Island Royals Major Midget team. We had made the first round, which is always thrilling, and faced the top team in the league, the North West Giants. We had lost every game to them during the season. We were tied at one game a piece in the best of three series. We fought hard and came through with the victory over our rivals and the feeling was like no other.”

Victoria Royals forward D-Jay Jerome

“My favourite playoff moment was in midget AAA as a member of the Midget AAA Lethbridge Hurricanes. In Game 2 of our best-of-three series against our rivals the Calgary Canucks, I assisted on our game-tying goal with two minutes left in the third period and then also assisted on the game winner a minute into overtime to tie the series at 1-1 and force a deciding Game 3.”

Dylan Jarvie – Juan de Fuca Grizzlies Minor Hockey

“Last year I was on the Bantam C1 team. In our playoff game (March 2018) we played against our other JDF team C2. At the end of the third period the game was tied 3-3. We ended up going into triple overtime and I scored the winning goal. My teammates mobbed me and practically carried me to the dressing room on their shoulders. It was pretty awesome.”

The chance for new favorite playoff memories can be made on Friday and Saturday nights as the Royals host Games 1 & 2 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.

reporter@saanichnews.com


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