The Royals will need Patrik Povlika to get back on his feet if they have a chance on taking out the Kamloops Blazers in Round 1 of the WHL playoffs. If not

Royals will face Blazers in opening round of playoffs

For the second straight season the Victoria Royals will face the Kamloops Blazers in opening round of WHL playoffs

For the second straight season the Victoria Royals will face the Kamloops Blazers in the opening round of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The Blazers will finish third in the Western Conference, setting up the first-round playoff series with the sixth-place Royals. Last year the Blazers swept the Royals in four games.

The Royals will host Games 3 and 4, and 6, if necessary, at Bear Mountain Arena as the Ford Men’s World Curling Championships take place at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Full schedule below.

The Royals ended its 11-game losing streak on Friday with a 5-3 win over the Vancouver Giants. The Giants bounced back on Saturday with a 3-1 win.

It’s all part of an up-and-down season for the Royals, which played the Portland Winterhawks at home Sunday (March 10).

Injuries hit the Royals hard during the slump, namely to team MVP Alex Gogolev (lower body). There’s good news for Gogolev however as he’s listed as day-to-day, flagging a likely return for playoffs.

Taylor Crunk (lower body), Trent Lofthouse (upper body) and Tyler Stahl are listed as temporary and should return soon. There is no immediate timeline, however, for Logan Fisher (upper body) and Luke Harrison (upper body).

A little over a month ago the Royals owned home advantage for the playoffs, as the fourth place team in the Western Conference. It would have been the franchises’ first time hosting the opening round of the playoffs. It also looked like the Royals would avoid the West’s big three of Portland, Kelowna and Kamloops.

Regardless, making the playoffs is first and foremost for the Royals, a team building around its core of 16 and 17 year olds Jack Walker, Joe Hicketts, Keegan Kanzig, Brandon Fushimi, Logan Fisher, Kolton Dixon and Ryan Gagnon, as well as blue-chip 15 year olds, Tyler Soy and Chaz Reddekopp, who played his first game with the Royals wearing No. 29 versus the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday.

The Kelowna Rockets ended the Blazers hopes of repeating as B.C. division champions over the weekend, winning 2-1 in Kelowna on Saturday (March 9) and 3-2 in Kamloops on Friday.

Marring the Royals’ past week was a four-line entry in the WHL’s discipline book, including a $1,500 fine for the team’s conduct versus the Kamloops Blazers on Tuesday (March 5), a 6-0 loss.

Tim Traber is the only player still suspended, as he is serving six games for an incident with Kale Kessy. The suspension was made worse for Traber because had come on for a line change when he went after Kessy. Traber will return for the final regular season game, March 16 at Everett.

Coach Dave Lowry was suspended for one game, which he served versus the Kelowna Rockets on Wednesday, a 4-3 shootout loss. Keegan Kanzig missed two games, the Rockets on Wednesday and Giants on Friday, for a fighting instigator in which the opponent did not fight back.

Playoffs begin the week of March 17.

In eight meetings this year the Blazers (4-2-2) won outright in four games, while the Royals (4-4-0) won twice in regulation and twice in a shootout.

2012-13 Season SeriesVictoria 4-3 (SO)Kamloops 3-0Kamloops 5-2Kamloops 5-2Victoria 6-4Victoria 3-2 (SO)Victoria 5-4Kamloops 6-0

– with files from Kamloops this Week

Friday, March 22nd Victoria @ Kamloops 7:00 p.m.Saturday, March 23rd Victoria @ Kamloops 7:00 p.m.Tuesday, March 26th Kamloops @ Victoria (Bear Mountain Arena) 7:05 p.m.Thursday, March 28th Kamloops @ Victoria (Bear Mountain Arena) 7:05 p.m.Saturday, March 30th Victoria @ Kamloops 7:00 p.m. (if necessary)Monday, April 1st Kamloops @ Victoria (Bear Mountain Arena) 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)Wednesday, April 3rd Victoria @ Kamloops 7:00 p.m. (if necessary)

 

 

 

Just Posted

Celebration of Life hosted for 29 Victoria trees set to be removed

Community Trees Matter Network hosting “goodbye and thank you” for trees on Fort Street

Head of Greater Victoria builders warns of changing construction climate

VRBA director Casey Edge also questions Saanich’s commitment towards housing affordability

Saanich police are looking for a man who exposed himself Saturday night

The incident exposure happened at the intersection of Feltham Road and Shelbourne Street

Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit returns to Royal BC Museum

Exhibit will feature award-winning photographers from around the world

Readers Theatre returns to Victoria’s Emanu-El

Born at Congregation Emanu-El’s 2013 Arts Festival, Bema Productions is back for its fifth season

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

2019 Canadian Whisky Awards’ big winners announced

Awards held in conjunction with Victoria Whisky Festival

12 poisoned eagles found in Cowichan Valley

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read