Royals in danger of facing match point

The Kamloops Blazers held serve at Interior Savings Centre and have a chance to win match point in Victoria against the Royals this week.

The Kamloops Blazers held serve at Interior Savings Centre and have a chance to win match point in Victoria against the Royals this week.

A straight-sets victory, though, will be no cakewalk.

There will likely be a crowd of about 6,000 people — all dressed in blue, if Victoria’s fans are more co-ordinated than the Kamloops patrons who could not quite pull off a whiteout last week — on hand for Game 3 tomorrow night (March 27).

Dave Hunchak, the Blazers’ associate coach, wants his players to focus on what’s happening inside the boards, rather than what’s transpiring in the stands.

“If you’re worried about stuff that’s going on outside the glass, you’re not focused on what you’ve got to get done,” Hunchak said.

“We’ve got to channel that energy and enthusiasm that will be in both rinks in our favour.”

Victoria’s best period of the series opening games — both Kamloops wins, 4-1 on Friday, March 23, and 7-4 on Saturday, March 24 — was arguably the first period of Game 1.

The Royals came out flying — and, more importantly, hitting — in the opening frame, just as the Blazers expected they would.

“We know they’re going to be extremely physical and try and pound us and that’s been the case for the past three months,” Hunchak said before Game 1.

“I expect Victoria to try and grind us down and we expect our guys to push right back.”

Period 1 ended in a 1-1 tie — then the Royals lost a bit of their physicality.

Kamloops scored three times in the second period and that was all she wrote.

The Royals had a strong third period in Game 2, but Kamloops looked to be in cruise control by that point and gave up a couple of soft goals.

Hunchak and the Blazers can expect their opposition to come out all-guns-a-blazing in Game 3, with the Royals’ faithful in full voice.

Bodies will be flying, there is no question about it.

The Blazers will have to weather the early storm — and silence the crowd — to keep the rally from returning to ISC.

“When we get there, we want it as quiet as possible and we’re the ones that can dictate that,” Hunchak said.

We’re Island-bound

KTW will be joining the Blazers on Vancouver Island for games three and four.

Stories, pictures and videos will be filed online at

The best way to keep track of what’s happening in Victoria — Twitter.

Follow two accounts — @MarTheReporter and @KTWonBlazers — for all you need to know about the Blazers’ road trip.


Just Posted

Sentencing delayed for man who attacked VicPD dog

Uno later recovered from his injury and returned to work

Eco warriors to shut down Douglas Street on Earth Day

Environmentalists to call on banks to divert investments into green infrastructure

Fire damage to Esquimalt building leaves some tenants out for at least six months

Structural damage has barred half of the tenants from returning, while others might move back sooner

Plans to clear-cut old-growth near Port Renfrew causes an environmental outcry

Groups call logging a provincial government ‘blind spot’

Saanich councillor continues to call for permanent funding for Greater Victoria sexual assault centre

Coun. Ned Taylor says funding announced last week will help, but need for permanent support remains

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

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

Police probe eight fires set at B.C. elementary school

Nanaimo RCMP say fires appear to have been set intentionally

Inquest into Port Hardy police shooting moved to Campbell River

Family disappointed James Hayward coroner’s inquest rescheduled hours away

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

Most Read