Conference-leading Winterhawks take down Victoria Royals

Victoria Royals have lost both games as they face opponents in the weekend standings.

The Western Conference-leading Portland Winterhawks made it to the Capitals with just one loss in 14 games. The weekend started with a 5-1 loss for the Royals at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center.

Victoria’s lone scorer on Friday night (November 11) was Jack Poole, one of the team’s most consistent sources of offense as he tallied 18 points on the year.

But penalties proved to be too much trouble for the hosts on Friday. The Winterhawks have the best strength in the WHL, as they score with man power nearly 40 percent of the time. The Royals, on the other hand, rank fourth in the league in penalty kicks.

Portland will take advantage of that mismatch, with three of their five goals coming from power play.

On Saturday (November 12), both sides attacked more, but the result was the same for Victoria. The high-scoring affair saw Poole extend his side’s lead on points, with Royals striker Riley Gannon also scoring two goals on the night.

The game saw scoring back and forth until Victoria gave herself a chance, coming back on a Tigger Button goal to make it 6-4 with about nine minutes left. However, another goal from the Winterhawks in the final five minutes would have cemented their 7-4 victory.

Head coach Dan Price said that despite the loss, the team’s efforts can lead to good results in a fast and physical game.

“It was a great game against a really good team,” he said after the game. “I think we got to their home very efficiently, the chances like that were even…in the zone, I think we did a good job of keeping the puck below the goal line.

Price said Portland had to get better defensively after the team allowed Portland to move the puck from the low post to open spots and other key scoring areas.

Victoria wraps up a 1-5 road trip ahead of their game against Portland, traveling farther east than they have traveled since the pandemic hit.

The 3-14-3 Royals kicked off a two-game home game against the Prince George Cougars on Friday, November 18th on 80’s Night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center. Saturday’s game will be a night of appreciation for the Canadian Armed Forces, including discounts for veterans, CFB Esquimalt military vehicles on site and special commemorative jerseys for players to wear.

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