Royals open home stand with loss to Blazers

Victoria and Kamloops will wrap-up their weekend set on Saturday at the SOFMC.

Forward Riley Gannon recorded a team-high two points on a goal and an assist as the Victoria Royals fell 7-4 to the Kamloops Blazers at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Friday.

Despite matching the Blazers goal-for-goal over the final two frames, a slow start–which saw them surrender four in the opening period–would prove too much for the Royals to overcome, ultimately resulting in a defeat.

General Manager and Head Coach Dan Price outlined some keys to bouncing back with a more positive result in the rematch with the Blazers tomorrow night:

“As a coach you take it really personally,” said Price postgame. “Part of what got us in a hole early was we didn’t move the puck with enough pace….We have to move the puck with a lot more authority…Second thing is, we have to shoot, way more. We have to crash the net…And I would say the third thing–if you pass the puck hard, if you go to the net with authority–we have to be ready for the puck around the net, sticks on the ice and ready for a rebound.”

“Our foot wasn’t on the gas in the first period, and so it gave them more time and space than we wanted to give them and they took advantage of that,” added Price.

The game also saw goals by forwards Robin Sapousek, Alex Edwards and Teydon Trembeky, while starting goaltender Braden Holt stopped 39 of 45 shots in the loss.

Forward Matthew Seminoff would be the top-performer for the Blazers in the win, collecting four points on two goals and two assists, while starting netminder Dylan Ernst made 26 saves on 30 shots.

Kamloops (27-9-4-2) would jump out to an early 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by forward Matthew Seminoff at 6:29 (15) and 12:59 (16) of the first period.

That would be followed by an unassisted short-handed marker by forward Logan Stankoven (24), who took advantage of a Royals turnover deep in their own zone to give the Blazers a 3-0 lead at the 16:38 mark.

However, Victoria (13-28-4-1) would get one back on a powerplay goal by forward Robin Sapousek (3) at 17:04 of the first, cutting Kamloops’ lead to 3-1. Forwards Tanner Scott and Riley Gannon would pick up assists on the play.

The Blazers would add one more before the end of the first, with forward Caedan Bankier (22) netting one at the 19:42 mark to put his team up 4-1 heading into the second.

Forward Alex Edwards would bring the Royals back within two with a goal to start the second, striking at 2:24 of the period, with forward Teague Patton on the assist.

However, the Blazers would once again take a hold of the game with back-to-back goals by forward Fraser Minten at the 7:29 (21) and 9:57 (22) marks, putting them up 6-2.

Victoria would answer back with a goal by forward Riley Gannon (14) at 11:21 of the second to cut the deficit to 6-3. Forward Marcus Almquist would collect the lone assist on the play.

The Royals would then pull within two on a goal by forward Teydon Trembecky (5) at the 19:04 mark of the second, bringing the score to 6-4 as the game entered the third period.

Forward Reggie Newman and defenceman Luke Rybinski would count assists on the goal.

Despite multiple scoring opportunities throughout the third, the Royals were ultimately unable to beat Kamloops goaltender Dylan Ernst and complete the comeback.

Blazers forward Logan Stankoven would then add an empty-netter at 18:17 of the frame to seal the 7-4 victory for his team.

The Blazers and Royals will wrap-up their two game set with a matchup scheduled for 6:05 pm on Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria. Tickets are still available at

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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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