Royals fall in road contest against Blazers

Victoria will travel to Prince George for a two game weekend set beginning on Friday

Forward Alex Thacker played in his 200th career WHL game as the Victoria Royals fell 11-1 to the Kamloops Blazers at the Sandman Centre on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old has appeared in the most WHL games of any player on the Royals current roster, making his debut as a 16-year-old with the Swift Current Broncos during the 2018-2019 season. Thacker has recorded 29 total points with seven goals and 22 assists since arriving in Victoria via trade from Lethbridge earlier this season.

Forward Carter Dereniwsky would collect the lone goal for the Royals, while starting goaltender Braden Holt made 27 saves on 35 shots before being replaced by backup Nicholas Cristiano, who stopped 10 of 13 shots after entering the game midway through the second period.

Meanwhile, forward Matthew Seminoff would finish as the top-scorer for the Blazers in the win, recording eight points on four goals and four assists, while starting goaltender Dylan Ernst stopped all but one of the 20 shots he faced.

Kamloops (45-11-4-2) would get out to an early 1-0 lead with a goal by forward Matthew Seminoff (28) at 0:59 of the first period.

Seminoff (29) would then make it 2-0 with his second of the period at the 11:24 mark, which would be followed by a powerplay marker by Blazers forward Emmitt Finnie (7) to bring the score to 3-0 at 12:38 of the period.

Kamloops would add two more before the end of the first, with forward Caedan Bankier (33) striking at the 17:37 mark and defenceman Ryan Michael scoring at 19:15 to make it 5-0 entering the second.

The Blazers would continue to extend their lead in the second, opening up a 6-0 lead on Caedan Bankier’s (34) second of the night at the 9:42 mark.

Bankier (35) would then complete the hat trick with another goal at 11:19 to bring the score to 8-0.

That would soon be followed by a pair of goals off the stick of Matthew Seminoff at 12:40 (30) and 18:16 (31), giving him four goals in the contest and bringing the score to 9-0.

Forward Ryan Hofer (39) would add one more for Kamloops before the end of the second, extending their lead to 10-0 as the game entered the final period.

Harrison Brunicke (4) scored one more for the Blazers in the third, bringing the score to 11-0 at 6:58 of the period.

Victoria (15-42-6-1) would get on the board and break the shutout late in regulation, with forward Carter Dereniwsky (8) netting one at the 19:35 mark to make it 11-1, where it would remain at the final buzzer.

Forward Riley Gannon would collect an assist on the play.

Looking ahead, the Blazers will play a home-and-home series against the Kelowna Rockets this weekend, while the Royals will travel north for a two game road set against the Prince George Cougars on Friday and Saturday night.

Puck drop for the first contest is set for 7:00 pm on Friday, Mar. 17 at the CN Centre in Prince George, BC.

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About the Victoria Royals

The Victoria Royals are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League (WHL) owned and operated by GSL Group. The Royals play all their home games at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and have entered their 12th season of their existence.

About Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (SOFMC) is designed, constructed, developed and operated by GSL Group. SOFMC is Victoria’s premier entertainment facility and the largest arena in British Columbia outside Vancouver. The state-of-the-art 7,000 seat facility is home to the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League and regularly hosts large-scale concerts and other special events such as figure skating, curling, plays, trade shows and conferences. SOFMC also features a fine dining Lion’s Den Restaurant, as well as retail and meeting space.

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