Coleman Vollrath earned the first shutout of his career on Tuesday as the Royals won 3-0 over the Kootenay Ice at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
It’s the Royals (19-11-1) ninth win in 11 games and sit fourth in the Western Conference. This weekend the Vancouver Giants (12-11-7) visit Friday and Saturday with a 7::05 p.m. start.
Tuesday was the Royals’ annual match-up with the Ice and while it may have “lacked emotion,” said head coach Dave Lowry, Vollrath’s 25 saves included stopping some quality scoring chances, including some from the Western Hockey League’s sixth overall scorer, Sam Reinhart of North Vancouver. The latter is a consensus to go top three, if not first, in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
“There were areas we wanted to make sure we were good tonight,” Lowry said. “Reinhart was a primary focus and so was the importance of special teams. (Vollrath) was good and made timely saves, and our power play scored big goals for us.”
The Royals killed all four Ice power plays and all three goals came from the special teams. Austin Carroll scored his 14th of the year on the power play in the first period, followed by a Brandon Magee shorthanded goal, the Royals’ third of the season. Logan Nelson popped his 12th goal in the second off the stick off local boy Jack Palmer.
The Royals are now 15-4-0-1 when they score at least one goal on the power play.
“Our guys were good on the power play (Tuesday night),” Lowry said. “Special teams are the keys to winning hockey teams. It’s not necessarily if you score on the power play, but you have to be generating chances.”
Perhaps the evidence is too concrete that the Royals’ five game win streak ended in Seattle on Saturday, a 6-3 loss int which the Royals failed to score on four power plays.
“We didn’t score on the power play and we lost, but we didn’t generate a lot either, we have to simplify it.”
As for Vollrath, it took the 18-year-old six games to get back in the net as Patrik Polivka allowed just four goals as the starter in the Royals’ previous five game win streak.
Vollrath will now get the start against the Vancouver Giants at home on Friday, assuming Lowry sticks to his usual strategy.