The Victoria Royals answered any questions as to whether they could handle the Kamloops Blazers despite the latter’s troubles in the standings. The Western Hockey League rivalry, which formerly favoured the Blazers, was reshaped in less than five days as the Royals won three straight meetings this week.
The first was close, 2-1 in Kamloops on Tuesday.
But the last two were a stompin’ as the Royals swept two straight from the Blazers, 6-1 on Friday and 5-0 on Saturday, at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
The Royals (17-10-0-1) have now won seven of their past eight games and the current ride has pushed them into fifth place, four points up on the Tri City Americans in the Western Conference standings. The last place Blazers (6-17-2-1) are in a rebuild year, though they had beaten the Royals earlier this season. Despite the Blazers knocking the Royals out of the playoffs the past two seasons the rivalry will likely fade for now. Or not.
Patrik Polivka earned the shutout on Saturday with 26 saves and 16-year-old rookie Tyler Soy scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season. Keegan Kanzig, Taylor Crunk and Isaac Schacher also scored. Kanzig scored first, the second of his WHL career. It was the first goal of Schacher’s career.
On Friday the Royals took a 2-0 lead in the second period when Taylor Crunk and Ben Walker scored 99 seconds apart. Chase Souto scored for the Blazers with one second left in the second to make it 2-1. Then the Royals exploded, sparked by Brandon Magee’s magical wrist shot, which he fired top shelf while rushing down the left side. Logan Nelson, Austin Carroll and Brandon Fushimi added to the lead in the third period.
This Royals visit the Tri City Americans and Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday and Saturday, respectively.