Royals fall 4-1 to Vancouver in Season Opener
Langley, BC – The 2023-24 WHL Regular-season officially got underway this evening as the Royals traveled to the mainland to take on the Vancouver Giants at the Langley Events Centre.
Royals rookie netminder Jayden Kraus got the start for Victoria following an impressive training camp, he faced off against 20-year-old goalie Brett Mirwald for the Giants.
It was a scoreless opening period in Langley as the opening frame provided a parade to the penalty box as the teams combined for 41 penalty minutes which included a mid period fight between Ben Edwards and Colton Langkow.
The Giants would open the scoring early in the second period as they scored twice in the opening three and half minutes to propel them to a two goal advantage. They would add a third goal midway through the period as Cameron Schmidt notched a powerplay marker.
Vancouver would add a fourth goal midway through the final period to extend their lead as Colton Langkow was able to beat Kraus. Victoria would get one back late in the third period as Deegan Kinniburgh notched his first WHL goal with just forty seconds to go in the game.
That was as close as the Royals would get as the Giants would hang on for the 4-1 victory.
2:49 – Vancouver Giants Goal
Tyler Thorpe (1) assisted by Kyren Gronick and Julian Cull
3:17 – Vancouver Giants Goal
Adam Tiltbach (1) (Penalty Shot)
11:17 – Vancouver Giants Goal (PP)
Cameron Schmidt (1) assisted by Colton Roberts and Adam Tiltbach
9:35 – Vancouver Giants Goal
Colton Langkow (1) assisted by Kyren Gronick and Carson Haynes
19:20 – Victoria Royals Goal
Deegan Kinniburgh (1) assisted by Nate Misskey
Shots On Goal
Royals – 25
Giants – 23
Royals – 0/6
Giants – 1/6
Jayden Kraus – 19/23
Brett Mirwald – 24/25
The Royals will continue their opening weekend with a trip south of the border as they prepare for a battle with the Everett Silvertips. Puck drops at 6:05pm from the Angel of the Winds Arena. Victoria will return to the SOFMC next weekend to take on the Prince George Cougars for the home opener weekend.
Photo Credit: Rob Wilton