Royals salvage two points from road trip with win over Thunderbirds

Jamie Crooks pots empty-netter for hat trick as Victoria Royals defeat Seattle Thunderbirds 6-2 on Saturday

The Victoria Royals couldn’t beat the Kelowna Rockets, and couldn’t beat the Everett Silvertips.

But for the second straight visit to Seattle, the Thunderbirds offered up some much-needed road points for the Royals.

The road trip started with a 6-1 loss to the Rockets on Wednesday and a 7-4 loss to the ‘Tips on Friday. Jamie Crooks scored three times as the Royals beat the Thunderbirds 6-2 on Saturday night.

It leaves the Royals (21-17-1-2) in sixth place the Western Conference with 45 points though the rejigged Silvertips (17-25-0-2), which just replaced its head coach, could still challenge the Royals despite being nine points back in seventh place.

The season continues with a pair of visits by the Kamloops Blazers–recently displaced from first by the surging Rockets–on Tuesday and Wednesday at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

Around the WHL

A lot of WHL players who otherwise would have attended NHL camps did not get that opportunity this year and will not. The NHL, due to its fragility as an organization, will use an abbreviated training camp for the upcoming 48-game season.

Among those on the Royals not attending camp this year with their respective NHL rights’ holders are draft NHL picks Steven Hodges (Florida Panthers), Tyler Stahl (Carolina Hurricanes), Jordan Fransoo (Ottawa Senators) and Logan Nelson (Buffalo Sabres), though Nelson is currently suffering an injury.

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