Royals edge Wheat Kings in trade deadline rendezvous

Dakota Conroy nets goal as he and Jordan Fransoo return to Brandon as Victoria Royals



The Victoria Royals ended the ten game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday.

It was the second game of the Royals’ six-game jaunt through the prairies, which opened with a 7-3 loss to the Regina Pats on Friday.

Saturday’s game came just five days after Victoria traded its top scorer Kevin Sundher to the Wheat Kings for defenceman Jordan Fransoo, Dakota Conroy and a first round bantam pick.

As fate would have it, Sundher, Fransoo and Conroy all earned points in the game.

Sundher recorded two assists after an uncharacteristic start. In the first 10 minutes, Sundher was called for high sticking, then slashing. Things got even worse when, with four minutes left in the opening period, Sundher was called for embellishment on a hooking call against the Royals’ Tim Traber.

However, any jokes about Sundher’s alliance were put to rest when he set up Mark Stone’s power play goal at the end of the first period to make it 2-0.

Victoria came back to tie the game on goals from Conroy (assisted by Fransoo), Brandon Magee and Jamie Crooks.

Ben Walker scored in the third round of the shootout to win the game for the Royals.

Prairie travels continue for the Royals with a visit to Swift Current on Tuesday (Jan. 17), followed by Moose Jaw, Prince Albert and Saskatoon.

Prospects on NHL scouting list

Saanich’s Wade Murphy has joined a pair of Victoria Royals in the mid-term rankings of the Central Scouting Services top eligible players for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Listed at No. 204 among North American skaters, Murphy is low on the list. But just the fact he’s on the radar, is what’s most important.

Having been traded from the Victoria Grizzlies to the Penticton Vees, Murphy’s stock should rise.

The Vees are the toast of the B.C. Hockey League with just three losses in the team’s first 40 games. The Vees are the favourite to win the Fred Page Cup as BCHL champions and have a good chance to represent B.C. and Alberta at the RBC Cup.

Being centre stage will only add to Murphy’s résumé and help him to move up the rankings.

Ranking a little higher than Murphy are Royals players Steven Hodges (Delta) at 55th and Logan Nelson (Rogers, MN) at 108th. In his second WHL season Hodges has 28 points, 13 goals and 15 assists.

Nelson is third in WHL rookie scoring with 42 points, 18 goals and 24 assists.

The 2012 NHL draft is June 22-23 in Pittsburgh.

Grist gets first goal

It was a long time coming for Sam Grist as the North Saanich defenceman scored his first WHL goal on the weekend.

A member of the powerhouse Tri City Americans, Grist is 6-foot-4, 200 lbs., and plays a reliable, stay-at-home style of game.

Though he shies away from taking offensive chances, the former Grizzlies player has also endured a bit of bad luck. He needed 96 games – nearly two full seasons with the Americans – to get his first goal. It came in a 5-3 loss to the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday when Grist blasted a slap shot from the point that caromed in off a defender.

Grist is bound for a big playoff run as his Tri City Americans are the No. 1 ranked major junior team in North America.