The Royals and Giants continued their rivalry with a pair of games at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Friday saw fireworks with 8 roughing penalties highlighting 40 minutes of combined calls. Surprisingly, both clubs failed to capitalize on any of the game’s 11 powerplays. Robin Soudek opened the scoring with his 12th in the first. The Giants tied it up in the second but Brendan Persley scored his first of the year just 20 seconds later. Thanks to strong goaltending from Keith Hamilton it stood up as the winner.
The next night was the Brenden Gallagher and Kevin Sundher show. The childhood frenemies who are both in the Team Canada mix for the upcoming World Juniors had two goals each as the Giants engineered a third period comeback to beat the Royals 5-3.
And then Wednesday happened. The Oil Kings marched into Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena, opened the scoring just 33 seconds in and beat up the Royals 8-2. Michael St Croix led the way with two goals and two assists. Keith Hamilton was chased from the game. Adding injury to insult, Kevin Sundher left the game in the first after a hard check into the boards and did not return.
It’s another doubleheader weekend as the Royals play host to the Red Deer Rebels. The Rebels sport an impressive 13-4 record. John Persson leads the team with 23 points
The Royals are keeping quiet about the severity of Sundher’s injury. Marc Habscheid has described it as an upper-body injury and won’t comment on whether he’ll play this weekend. Also at risk is Sundher’s spot on team WHL for the Subway Super Series next Thursday. If Sundher is forced to miss the match with the Russian Selects it could be a major blow for his chances to make the World Junior team. As of now, he hasn’t been replaced.
In the Community
It’s Score a Hyundai night Saturday as one fan will have a chance to score a 2012 Hyundai vehicle during the second intermission. Meanwhile, a Chuck-a-Puck contest will raise funds for the Sooke Minor Hockey Association.
Sunday will be the birthday festivities of Marty the Marmot. The first 2,500 fans will receive a Marty the Marmot bobblehead while every child will receive a goody bag. The Royals will present a cheque to the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation during the first intermission.
After the game fans will have a chance to take a skate with Marty. Equipment can either be rented or fans are free to grab their stuff from home and re-enter the building.
As well the Royals will mark World Diabetes day by lighting the ice blue prior to the game.
With Kevin Sundher out for an indeterminate amount of time, the offensive responsibility will fall to Robin Soudek. Soudek has 13 goals and 24 points on the year but will now have to create offense without the luxury of playing with Sundher.
Sundher or no Sundher the show will go on Saturday night against the Rebels.