Victoria captain Gannon Laroque made his season debut and added two assists as the Royals beat the Kelowna Rockets 4-2 on Jan. 3. (Courtesy of the Victoria Royals)

Victoria captain Gannon Laroque made his season debut and added two assists as the Royals beat the Kelowna Rockets 4-2 on Jan. 3. (Courtesy of the Victoria Royals)

Victoria Royals open 2023 with two wins in three high-scoring contests

Debut of captain Gannon Laroque propels Royals against Kelowna

The Victoria Royals’ quest to turn their season around got another boost as they went 2-1 in the first week of the new year.

Bolstered by the return of Gannon Laroque, the Royals handed the Kelowna Rockets a 4-2 loss on Jan. 3. After missing the first half of the season to recover from injury, Laroque got involved in the games opening goal and ended the night with two assists as he donned the “C” for Victoria.

Two powerplay goals in the third vaulted the Royals to the win after they were locked in at 2-2 with the Rockets through two periods.

The capital city squad then headed south for a game in Spokane against the Chiefs on Jan 6. A goal-heavy second period saw the Royals improve their 2-1 lead to 6-3 by the end of the frame, where the score would stand after a scoreless third.

Forwards Marcus Almquist and Tanner Scott led the way for Victoria as each had two goals on their way to three-point nights. That performance saw Almquist start the new year with five points in the first two contests of 2023.

Victoria remained in Washington State to cap the three-game road trip against the Tri-City Americans.

The Royals tied the game 2-2 late in the first after going down by two goals. The Americans then scored two more in the second after an early powerplay marker by the Royals. The home team bested Victoria once again in the third to take the 6-4 victory.

Laroque added two goals in the loss, while Jake Poole, Kalem Parker and Riley Gannon also registered multi-point nights.

Victoria is five points back of the Rockets for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Royals return to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Friday, Jan. 13, when they’ll take on Kelowna on two straight nights.

READ: Victoria Royals set to begin 2023 on heels of December momentum


 

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