The visiting Victoria Royals snapped a 12-game losing streak on Nov. 20 with a 3-2 win over Vancouver Giants at Langley Events Centre. This Friday the Royals host a U.S. team – Everett – for the first time since the pandemic first impacted Western Hockey League play. (Photo by Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre)

The visiting Victoria Royals snapped a 12-game losing streak on Nov. 20 with a 3-2 win over Vancouver Giants at Langley Events Centre. This Friday the Royals host a U.S. team – Everett – for the first time since the pandemic first impacted Western Hockey League play. (Photo by Gary Ahuja/Langley Events Centre)

First U.S.-based team in 20 months to play Royals in Victoria

Struggling Royals host front-running Everett Silvertips on Friday night, Nov. 25

This Friday the Victoria Royals will face a team from south of the border for the first time since the pandemic first impacted Western Hockey League play.

The Nov. 26 game against the Everett Silvertips at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (7:05 p.m. start) comes a full 20 months after Victoria was involved in a game between cross-border opponents.

The Royals played Portland just days before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WHL season in March 2020. Last season saw the Royals play in a B.C. Division bubble.

From a competitive standpoint, Friday’s game will feature the Western Conference’s best and worst teams. The only loss for the U.S. Division-leading Silvertips (16-0-0-1) came in a shootout, while the B.C. Division cellar-dwelling Royals (2-11-2-0) have struggled to score and prevent goals.

Victoria head coach Dan Price acknowledged the Everett club will serve up a test for his club.

“Our group is energized and looking forward to feeling the energy from our home crowd,” he said.

Despite their struggles, the Royals are on a minor upswing, having beat the Vancouver Giants 3-2 in their last game Nov. 20 after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Kamloops on Nov. 6.

READ: BCHL adds 24 skaters, 8 goaltenders to online all-star ballot


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