Victoria, BC - In a Tuesday night match up, the Victoria Royals looked to extend their seven-game winning streak as they hosted the Prince Albert Raiders for the first time at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Victoria turned to Coleman Vollrath in net while Prince Albert countered with Luke Siemens.
Victoria opened the scoring a mere 22 seconds into the game off of Mitch Deacon's third goal of the season. Royals' forward Taylor Crunk entered the Raiders' zone along the left boards before he hit Deacon with a pass in the high slot. Deacon slid a low shot as he drove the net that beat Siemens through the legs and gave the Royals a 1-0 lead. Victoria added to their lead when Brandon Magee notched his 26th goal of the year. Alex Gogolev broke into the Prince Albert zone on a two-on-one rush with Magee before he made a shifty cross-ice pass that completely fooled Siemens. Magee made no mistake and wired the puck into an open net at the 9:27 mark. The Raiders' first goal came courtesy of Carson Perreaux at 13:27 of the opening frame. From low in the left corner, Josh Morrissey whipped a pass through theVictoria crease to Perreaux who redirected the puck into the net and cut the Royals' lead to one. Leon Draisaitl tied the game for Prince Albert at 14:47. Davis Vandane's point shot deflected off of a defender and found the stick of Draisaitl at the side of the Victoria net where it was promptly deposited into the open cage. The Raiders then took the lead with a shorthanded marker at 19:02. After the visitors won a draw to the right of the Royals' net, Vandane rifled a slapshot from the point that beat a screened Vollrath. With three unanswered goals, Prince Albert held a 3-2 advantage after the first period.
Gogolev evened the score for Victoria at 9:37 of the second period. The Russian forward accepted a long stretch pass from Brett Cote and split two defenders at the Raiders' blueline. Victoria's leading scorer broke in alone and made a nifty move to his backhand before he slid the puck under the pads of Siemens. The Royals' regained the lead with an unassisted, shorthanded goal from Steven Hodges 12:36 into the period. Hodges grabbed a loose puck and entered the Prince Albert zone on a two-on-one break with Jamie Crooks. The defender took away the pass, but Hodges fired a low shot between Siemens' legs to regain the lead for Victoria. Following Hodges' goal, Prince Albertmade a goaltending change and Andy Desautels relieved Siemens of his duties for the remainder of the period. After 40 minutes of play,Victoria held a 4-3 lead.
Luke Siemens returned to the Prince Albert net to start the final period and the Raiders tied the game with their second shorthanded goal of the game at the 13:55 mark. Perreaux sprung into the Victoria zone on a breakaway, but his backhand attempt was foiled by the outstretched leg of Vollrath. Before the puck could be cleared away, Shane Danyluk followed up on the play and shovelled home the equalizing goal. Victoria retook the lead at 15:06 with a powerplay marker from Jack Walker. After a goal mouth scramble in front of the Raiders' net, Crooks dished the puck to Walker who wristed a quick shot from below the left face-off circle that whistled over the left shoulder of a screened Seimens. Prince Albert pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker late in the game and were rewarded with a face-off in theVictoria zone with just 3.7 seconds remaining. The Royals won the face-off, but the puck was directed towards their own net. Prince Albertcharged the Victoria net where Mark McNeil was able to chip the loose puck over Vollrath to tie the game at 5-5 with 0.1 seconds remaining and send the game to overtime.
After an exciting end-to-end overtime period neither team could break the deadlock and a shootout would be needed to decide the extra point. Hodges shot first for Victoria, but was unable to beat Seimens with a move to his forehand. Leon Draisatl then beat Vollrath through the legs as Prince Albert's first shooter. After Ben Walker and Raiders' captain Mark McNeil each missed, Brandon Magee would need to score to keep the home team alive. Magee slowed his pace in the high slot and snapped a quick shot, but Siemens flashed his glove and got a piece of the puck which sailed over the net. Siemens' save secured the two points the Raiders and snapped the Royals' seven-game winning streak. Prince Albert 6 Victoria 5 in a shootout.
Victoria went 1/4 = 25.0% on the powerplay while Prince Albert was 0/3 = 0.0%. The Raiders outshot the Royals 36-33.
The Royals now hit the road for a three-game road trip that begins on Thursday, January 31st in Kelowna. The Royals' next home game is Tuesday, February 5th when they welcome the Seattle Thunderbirds to Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.