Scott’s Three Point Performance Lifts Royals to 4-1 Victory Over Blazers
Kamloops, BC –For the third time in just four days, it was the Victoria Royals (15-11-0-2) and the Kamloops Blazers (7-15-2-3) going to battle, but with a different setting as they squared off at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops. Victoria was looking to rebound following a 3-2 loss to the Blazers on Wednesday night at the SOFMC.
Heading into the game, there were a couple of storylines to follow as Royals blueliner Nate Misskey skated in his 100th WHL game. Secondary to that, Alex Edwards returned to the Royals lineup after his 25-game suspension came to a conclusion.
Both sides made a change in between the pipes as Jayden Kraus got the start for Victoria, looking to capture his fifth win of the season, while Dylan Ernst got back into action for Kamloops after having the night off on Wednesday.
It was a slower start on Friday night as the fans in Kamloops were anticipating the Blazers’ Teddy Bear toss moment as they celebrated the annual tradition. Victoria showcased their attention to detail throughout the period as they kept the home side off the board.
Victoria was able to pounce first as Reggie Newman continued his strong play as of late when he buried his third goal in his last four games after receiving a pass from Tanner Scott. With the primary assist, Scott pulled within three of hitting 100 in his WHL career. The secondary assist provided by Sapouŝek was his seventh point in his last five games played.
That was the only goal of the period as the Royals took the one-goal advantage into the middle frame.
Kamloops would even things up midway through the second period as Nathan Behm tallied his seventh of the season, getting the Teddy Bears flying at the Sandman Centre. The equalizing marker was on the man-advantage as they capitalized on their first chance with the extra man.
Neither team could find the back of the net in the latter half of the second period, setting the stage for an important third period with the score deadlocked at one apiece.
Victoria would come out flying to start the third period as they looked to regain their advantage. Tanner Scott reached the double-digit plateau as he finished off a stretch pass from Ryan Spizawka to give Victoria the one-goal advantage.
Just 16 seconds later, the Royals struck again as Robin Sapouŝek extended their lead to a pair. Spizawka drew the lone assist on the play as he tallied his second point of the evening.
Victoria would hold off a final surge from Kamloops before Tanner Scott sealed the deal with an empty-net marker, helping propel the Royals to a 4-1 victory.
After the game, Royals Head Coach James Patrick explained his satisfaction of his team’s urgency.
“It was another low scoring chance affair. Both teams really focused on defense, I liked how we played better than the last game. I thought our team did a great job on puck retrievals, there was noticeably more urgency,” stated Patrick. “Our retrievals and our puck movement out of our end was a big improvement. I thought that’s where the game started for us.”
While multiple players helped carry the Royals to victory, Patrick mentioned two players who grabbed his attention.
“Jayden Kraus looked like a real star, he was really calm and under control. I thought Alex Edwards gave us some life, some energy. I liked the balanced lines, and the balanced play from our lines on the defensive side.”
Tanner Scott attributed his three-point performance to the hard-work of his linemates.
“I just thought our line started out really hot. I thought our first period was really good. We started with that goal, Reggie’s goal quickly, and I thought we just built the momentum from there,” claimed Scott. “I always thought that we had a good fore-check going with our line and that really helped us sustain offensive zone time for us. So I felt like that was a big contributor to my success tonight.”
13:45 – Victoria Royals Goal
Reggie Newman (8) assisted by Tanner Scott Robin Sapouŝek
7:32 – Kamloops Blazers Goal (PP)
Nathan Behm (7) assisted by Logan Bairos and Jordan Keller
5:29 – Victoria Royals Goal
Tanner Scott (10) assisted by Ryan Spizawka and Justin Kipkie
5:45 – Victoria Royals Goal
Robin Sapouŝek (13) assisted by Ryan Spizawa
19:21 – Victoria Royals Goal (EN)
Tanner Scott (11) assisted by Justin Kipkie
Shots On Goal
Royals – 24
Blazers – 23
Royals – 0/2
Blazers – 1/4
Jayden Kraus – 22/23
Dylan Ernst – 20/23
Victoria and Kamloops will conclude their mid-season series on Sunday afternoon at the Sandman Centre as the Royals and Blazers go to battle for the fourth time in just six days. Puck drop will take place at 2:00PM at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.