Royals battle Rockets; Grizz tangle with Caps
KELOWNA 2 VICTORIA 0
The Victoria Royals got some key veterans back from injury, but it didn’t help Friday night at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
The host Rockets scored two third-period goals to knock off the Royals 2-0 in front of a crowd of 4,822 in the Okanagan.
The victory moved the Rockets (14-15-2-0) four points ahead of the struggling Royals (13-12) in the race for second place in the B.C. Division. Victoria lost for the third straight game.
The Royals welcomed back a pair of 20-year-olds as goaltender Griffen Outhouse returned after missing three games with an injury, and defenceman Ralph Jarratt returned after missing 11 games due to injury.
Outhouse made 31 saves, while Roman Basran faced just 16 Victoria shots to pick up his first shutout of the season.
The game was scoreless until midway through the third period when former Royals forward Lane Zablocki buried a nice feed from Salt Spring Island product Kyle Topping. Nolan Foote, ‘A’ rated by Central Scouting for the 2019 NHL draft, added an emptynetter with 50 seconds remaining in regulation.
The Royals now head to Vancouver to face the red-hot Giants tonight at the Pacific Coliseum. The B.C. Divisionleading Giants (20-6-2-0), who were idle Friday night, come into the game on a six-game winning streak. The game is also the Giants’ annual Teddy Bear Toss game. The Royals’ next home game is Tuesday night when the Portland Winterhawks visit Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre for the first of back-to-back games.
LOOSE PUCKS: The Royals were minus import winger Igor Martynov as the 19-year-old is representing Belarus at the ‘B’ world junior championship in Germany.