Royals’ offence rolls over Chiefs
VICTORIA 7 SPOKANE 5
A speedy start was of the essence Friday night as the Victoria Royals defeated the Spokane Chiefs 7-5 in WHL action before 4,626 fans at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Sophomore Victoria forward Tarun Fizer scored at nine seconds, cleanly from an acute and unlikely angle, to tie for the fastest goal in franchise history. Taylor Crunk also scored at nine seconds against Kamloops on March 8, 2014, and Ryan Howse against Seattle on Jan. 9, 2011, when the team was located in Chilliwack.
D-Jay Jerome then wristed home his first of two goals for Victoria before the game was twominutes old.
The Royals held standout Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith, the 2018 first-round New Jersey Devils draft pick, point-less and to a miserable and uncharacteristic minus-5 night.
Brandon Cutler had a goal and two assists and Dante Hannoun and Fizer each a goal and assist as Victoria snapped a two-game losing skid to move to 10-5.
Royals defenceman Scott Walford, who was on Team WHL with Smith in its set against the Russian juniors this week, scored his first goal of the season. The other Victoria goal came from Danish U-20 international Phillip Schultz.
Sean Gulka of the Royals had three assists against his old team and blue-liner Remy Aquilon his first career WHL point.
Sniper Riley Woods led Spokane (8-7-3) with two goals. The Chiefs have lost their last three games.
The Royals and Chiefs meet again tonight on Blanshard on Military Appreciation Night.
LOOSE PUCKS: After tonight, the Royals don’t play again until next Saturday when the Regina Pats pay a visit to Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Royals forward Kaid Oliver battles for the puck with Chiefs defenceman Egor Arbuzov in front of goaltender Dawson Weatherill during the first period Friday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.