It was an up and down week for the Royals. Last Friday saw an 8-1 drubbing at the hands of cross-ocean rivals Vancouver Giants.
The Giants put together 6 goals in the first, outshooting the Royals 17-1. Goalie Keith Hamilton was pulled late in the first, but his replacement Jared Rathjen fared little better. If you need further proof these two teams hate each other, they combined for 12 roughing minors after the game was all but decided.
The following night saw the Royals in Kelowna and the boys bounced back with a 3-2 victory. Robin Soudek scored his ninth and Steven Hodges scored the game winner late in the second. Kelowna Rocket Filip Vasko was kicked out the game midway through the second for a boarding major on Tim Traber. Kevin Sundher had one assist to reach 200 points in his WHL career.
Midweek, the Royals were in America. First up, a 5-4 victory over the Tri-City Americans. The Royals chased Eric Cormic from the net halfway through the game. Jamie Crook’s third period goal stood up as the game winner.
The Royals were unfortunately unable to carry the success through to the next night, losing 6-1 to the Spokane Chiefs. Marc Habscheid gave Jared Rathjan his first career WHL start. Though Rathjan was not superb, the Royals managed just 13 shots in offensive support.
The Royals kick off a seven game homestand with a pair of games this weekend against the Seattle Thunderbirds. The T-Birds are 4-5 to start the year and and boost the Colorado Avalanche’s second round pick Calvin Pickard in net. Marc Habscheid would like to see a better defensive effort from his team this week. With defencemen Zach Habscheid and Tyler Stahl sidelined for most of the year the Royals have given up 71 goals in 15 games, dead last in the WHL.
News & Notes
Not surprisingly, Kevin Sundher was named to Team WHL for the 2011 CHL Subway Super Series. Sundher leads the WHL with 20 assists and his third in scoring with 25 points. The Super Series will see six games between regional CHL all-stars and the Russian National Junior Team. Sundher will take part in the November 16th game in Regina and look to cement his chances at making the 2012 National Junior Team.
In the Community
The Royals have a lot planned for the weekend series against the Thunderbirds. Tonight is Lugaro Ladies’ Night and everyone in attendance will have a chance to win a half caret diamond.
Everyone there tonight will also be in the pool to have a chance to win a Hyundai vehicle in the debut of “Score a Hyundai with Victoria Hyundai”.
As if that wasn’t enough, it’s also the debut of Subway Poster Nights. The first 2,000 fans through the gate will recieve a free Victoria Royals team poster.
Saturday, the Royals will celebrate Halloween by giving $3 off walk-up tickets for costumed fans. The organization is also planning a Kid’s Candy Scramble during the first intermission where 15 randomly selected kids will have one minute to collect as much candy as they can on the ice. Finally, during the second intermission, 3 fans will shoot for a chance at $10,000. Oh and there will also be some hockey at some point this weekend.
Big week for Royals prospect Joe Hicketts. One day after being named to Team Canada for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, the defenceman made his WHL debut on October 22 in the Royals 3-2 win over the Rockets. Hicketts is off to Moose Jaw this weekend to represent British Columbia in the Western Canada U16 Challenge Cup.
It’s tonight, and it’s against the Thunderbirds. The game will be broadcast live on The Zone 91.3 but looking at the sheer amount of promotions mentioned above, this might be the time to get out there and support the team live if you like bang for your buck.