Victoria Royals players celebrate during Saturday’s 4-2 Western Hockey League win over Kelowna at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The visiting Rockets won by the same score on Friday night. Courtesy Victoria Royals

Retro-fitted Royals regain top spot in Western Hockey League

Turn Back the Clock Night in Victoria yields 4-2 victory over Kelowna

Sporting their vintage jerseys on Turn Back the Clock Night at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals gained a measure of revenge on the Kelowna Rockets, winning 4-2 Saturday to regain top spot in the Western Hockey League.

Ryan Peckford scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season to lead the Royals (13-5-1-0) to victory, while goaltender Griffen Outhouse kicked out 20 shots for his WHL-leading 11th win.

The Rockets (8-6-2-1), who gained ground on the Royals in the B.C. Division with a 4-2 win Friday in Victoria, were outshot 32-22 last night and appeared in danger of being shut out late in the third period. But Nolan Foote and Leif Mattson scored power play goals 1:02 apart to narrow the margin.

Both of Peckford’s goals came in the opening period and helped the locals build a 3-0 lead by the first intermission. Dante Hannoun scored his 11th in the period, while Dino Kambeitz’s third of the season made it 4-0 early in the third period.

Victoria’s Tyler Soy continued his hot hand, setting up two goals to push his point total to 23 in 14 games since returning from the camp of the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks. With 258 career points in 271 games with the Royals, he is six points shy of the franchise record held by Brandon Magee, who suited up in 318 games for Victoria and predecessor Chilliwack.

Kelowna came from behind to win Friday’s contest. Trailing 2-1 after one period and most of the second, the Rockets tied it up with a power play goal from Cal Foote at the 17:53 mark. Mattson scored the winner 16:50 into the third and Dillon Dube found an empty net for his second goal of the game for the Rockets at 19:30.

Jared Legien, with his eighth, and Hannoun tallied for the Royals, who were outshot 36-26 overall.

Victoria’s next action is this Friday (Nov. 10, 7:05 p.m.) at home against the Edmonton Oil Kings, then the Royals are in Langley on Saturday to play the Vancouver Giants.

Royal tidbits … Team captain Matthew Phillips was held off the board on Friday, ending his club record 17-game point scoring streak. He managed an assist Saturday, however, to start what could be another streak … Outhouse’s .922 save percentage is second-best among regular starters in the WHL.

editor@vicnews.com

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