Resilient Royals Comeback Efforts Fall Just Short in 5-4 Loss to Thunderbirds
Kent, WA – In a nail-biting match against the Seattle Thunderbirds (8-5-1-0), the Victoria Royals (10-8-0-1) found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-4 scoreline, despite a valiant effort that showcased their resilience and determination. The game, played at a high intensity from start to finish, highlighted the Royals’ ability to battle back in the face of adversity.
Forward Dawson Pasternak’s sentiments echoed the team’s spirit, stating, “I think that’s something we’ve really come to be good at — being a very resilient team and playing from behind, which is something that you don’t really want to have to do. But we found ourselves in this situation a bunch of times now, and we’ve showed that we’re a no-quit kind of team.”
The Royals faced a challenging start, conceding an early goal to the Thunderbirds just prior to the five minute mark in the first period, scored by Kazden Mathies. However, they quickly responded with a power-play goal from defenseman Nate Misskey at the midway mark of the period, with assistance from Robin Sapouŝek and Dawson Pasternak.
Assistant Coach Morgan Klimchuk commended the team’s commitment to defense, emphasizing the importance of sacrifice: “There’s been a lot of guys pretty much throughout the whole lineup that are willing to get in front of the puck and sacrifice. It has been a strength of our group the last little bit here.”
The first period continued to be action-packed, with goals from both sides. Despite the Royals’ efforts, the Thunderbirds managed to secure a one-goal lead by the end of the period, setting the stage for an uphill battle.
Defenseman Nate Misskey shed light on the challenging circumstances leading up to the game, saying, “You know, obviously it was a tough day for us. A long travel day, bus legs a little bit to start the game. But they also had the same travel as us.” Misskey emphasized the mental aspect of preparation, focusing on getting the team’s mindset right to overcome the early hurdles.
The second period saw the Thunderbirds extend their lead with a goal from Eric Alarie, assisted by Coster Dunn and Antonio Martorana. The Royals, however, refused to be deterred, showcasing their character and determination.
Entering the final period trailing by two goals, the Royals mounted a comeback effort. Deegan Kinniburgh and Tanner Scott netted two quick goals within a minute, reigniting the hope for a dramatic turnaround. Kinniburgh’s goal at 16:25 and Scott’s goal at 16:58, assisted by Reggie Newman and Robin Sapouŝek, brought the Royals within striking distance.
Despite the late surge, the Royals couldn’t complete the comeback. The Thunderbirds managed to hold on to their narrow lead, securing the victory in a hard-fought contest.
4:48 – Seattle Thunderbirds Goal
Kazden Mathies (5) assisted by Eric Alarie and Bryce Pickford
10:39 – Victoria Royals Goal (PP)
Nate Misskey (4) assisted by Robin Sapouŝek and Dawson Pasternak
13:28 – Seattle Thunderbirds Goal (PP)
Jeremy Hanzel (4) assisted by Sawyer Mynio and Sam Popowich
17:00 – Seattle Thunderbirds Goal
Jeremy Hanzel (5) assisted by Hyde Davidson and Simon Lovsin
19:42 – Victoria Royals Goal
Dawson Pasternak (5) assisted by Casper Haugen
11:38 – Seattle Thunderbirds Goal
Eric Alarie (6) assisted by Coster Dunn and Antonio Martorana
12:10 – Seattle Thunderbirds Goal
Antonio Martorana (7) assisted by Sawyer Mynio and Eric Alarie
16:25 – Victoria Royals Goal
Deegan Kinniburgh (2) assisted by Nate Misskey
16:58 – Victoria Royals Goal
Tanner Scott (8) assisted by Reggie Newman and Robin Sapouŝek
Shots On Goal
Royals – 17
Thunderbirds – 34
Royals – 1/5
Thunderbirds – 1/4
Jayden Kraus – 17/21
Braden Holt – 12/13
Scott Ratzlaff – 13/17
Victoria will continue their busy stretch of four games in five days with a pair of home games against the Kelowna Rockets. Monday’s game will be an afternoon matchup with puck drop taking place at 3:05PM from the SOFMC.