The Victoria Royals have played more than any other team west of Saskatchewan through the first couple weeks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) season, making for a packed schedule that has coincided with a slow start.
Victoria went winless through its first eight games, garnering only one point in that stretch off an overtime loss against the Kelowna Rockets on Oct. 11. The Royals finally snapped the season-opening slump and picked up their first win of the year on Wednesday (Oct. 12) at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
In the second game in as many days against the Rockets, goaltender Tyler Palmer earned the first star of the night after stopping 40 of 42 shots in the 5-2 win.
“We’re all really happy to get the monkey off our back and I think we’re going to be rolling now,” said Palmer postgame.
Matthew Hodson scored twice for the Royals, while Jake Poole, Riley Gannon and Tanner Scott also posted multi-point nights. Noland Flamand picked up both goals for the Rockets.
Victoria head coach and GM Dan Price said he hopes the team can now build some momentum and turn things around. The Royals scored four unanswered after being down 2-1 to start the third period on Wednesday, which Price said came after several close games where the team felt like it deserved to win.
“So tonight, with that close game hanging in the balance everyone made a decision, we’re only going out there if we know we’re going to win, let’s decide that we’re going to do it.”
The Royals welcome the Brandon Wheat Kings to town on Saturday (Oct. 15), the first matchup in a three-game home set.
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