The Victoria Royals will take on their B.C. division rivals, the Vancouver Giants, on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Saturday’s contest is also the club’s fifth annual Teddy Bear Toss. Fans are encouraged to bring their new teddy bears or other gently used stuffed toys to the game, and throw them on the ice when the Royals score their first goal. Save-On-Foods will also be on site selling Mini-Marty the Marmot stuffed toys with proceeds going to B.C. Children’s Hospitals.
All stuffed toys collected on the ice will be distributed towards a variety of causes such as the TLC Fund for Kids, Single Parent Resource Centre, Women in Need, C-FAX Santa’s Anonymous, Victoria police department, the Salvation Army, the Mustard Seed, St. Vincent de Paul Centre, Craigflower Elementary, the Queen Alexandra Centre and the Victoria Women’s Transition House.
Saturday and Sunday’s games will mark the last time fans can see the Royals live in action at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre before the Christmas holidays. Victoria returns home to face the Prince George Cougars on Sunday, Dec. 27 for Black Press Hockey Card Night and Monday, Dec. 28th.
The Royals enter this week with the best goal differential in the Western Hockey League at plus 37. Through the first 29 games of the season, Victoria has scored 101 goals, the sixth most in the WHL, while allowing the second fewest against in the league at 64. Forward Dante Hannoun leads the team with a plus/minus rating of plus 19.
Victoria netminder Coleman Vollrath is only one game away from tying former Chilliwack Bruins’ goaltender Lucas Gore for the most games played in franchise history. Vollrath, who has spent his entire junior career with the Royals, has played in 140 regular season WHL contests where he has collected a record of 68-42-4-5 to go along with eight shutouts. Gore currently holds the record with 141 games played. Earlier this season Vollrath passed Gore for the franchise lead in wins by a netminder in a 5-1 victory over the Saskatoon Blades.
The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday will see Victoria in a matinee match-up beginning at 3:05 p.m. A skate with the Royals will take place after the game.