Victoria Royals captain Matthew Phillips (in white) in action against Prince George during Western Hockey League action last year at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The teams will open the new season back in Victoria Sept. 21. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Royals announce 2018-19 WHL hockey schedule

Victoria to open on home ice Sept. 21 against Prince George

Major junior hockey fans, mark Friday, Sept. 21 on your calendar.

That’s when the Victoria Royals kick off their 2018-19 regular season in the Western Hockey League, against B.C. Division opponent, the Prince George Cougars, on home ice at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

The Royals announced the schedule for their eighth WHL season on Tuesday, and it includes nine games against the Cougars, an equal number against Kamloops and eight versus Kelowna. Not surprisingly, Victoria’s most frequent opponent this regular season, with 10 games, is the arch-rival Vancouver Giants – who were defeated by the Royals in the opening round of the 2017-18 playoffs.

Victoria may well be led again by team captain, last year’s leading scorer and Calgary Flames prospect Matthew Phillips, one of a number of 1998-born players to end the season with the club. League rules permit just three overage players per team, of which Phillips would be one if the Flames sent him back to junior for another season.

The club’s longest homestand of the new season arrives in October when the Royals play six straight games at Save-On; two each against the Giants and Kelowna and one each against WHL champion Swift Current and the Brandon Wheat Kings.

And on the road, the Royals’ six-gamer in late December and early January – while the World Junior Championships are on in Victoria and Vancouver – is the longest and includes their only six games of the season against teams from the Central Division.

For a look at the full schedule, visit bit.ly/2KaKoK9.

Top draft pick signs on dotted line

The Royals’ first round selection in the 2018 WHL Bantam draft, Victoria’s Nolan Bentham (13th overall), is officially in the fold, after signing a WHL standard player agreement with the team earlier this month. The 15-year-old defenceman played last season with Yale Academy of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Bowl for Kids’ Sake returns to Langford

Annual fundraising event held from April 26 to 28

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Most Read