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

Trees topped, greenery snatched from Saanich park

‘If everyone took one thing, there’d be nothing left,’ says president of park society

West Shore Parks and Rec offers holiday childcare alternatives

Camps available on days many daycares close

New Saanich resident says volunteers get back as much as they give

Saanich Volunteers Services Society member encourages others to help the community

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

B.C.-born hockey official talks to IIHF about switching European rule book to NHL rules

Rob Shick will represent NHL at 4th World Hockey Forum in Russia

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Most Read