Dethroned at home

The Victoria Royals handed the Kootenay Ice their first home loss of 2014-15 campaign Saturday night at Western Financial Place

Kootenay Ice

Kootenay Ice

Taylor Rocca

At the end of a six-game road swing, the Victoria Royals marched into Cranbrook and dethroned the Kootenay Ice at Western Financial Place with a resounding 4-0 victory Saturday night.

The defining damage came over a 15-second span in the final two minutes of the second period.

With a 1-0 lead on the board, the Royals tripled their advantage in the final 65 seconds of the second period. Brandon Fushimi put the visitors up 2-0 with a goal that came quickly off a face-off to the glove side of Kootenay Ice goaltender Wyatt Hoflin. On the ensuing shift, Royals forward Brandon Magee won the draw at centre ice. After receiving a pass from towering blue-liner Keegan Kanzig, lanky forward Axel Blomqvist cruised untouched into the high slot before sending a low shot through Hoflin for a 3-0 lead.

The Ice never recovered as Royals goaltender Coleman Vollrath stopped 27 shots en route to his first shutout of the season, and second of his WHL career.

“It’s devastating on the group,” said Kootenay Ice forward Jaedon Descheneau. “You’re in the game, 1-0, and one scoring chance can change a game. I had one literally 10 seconds before [the Royals] went down and scored. If I would have scored that, it would have been a different game.

“The way I’ve been playing the last little bit, pucks aren’t going in for me and I’m not really doing much. I haven’t accomplished anything out there. I put this loss on my back, on myself. To come back from [down] 3-0 in the third [period] is difficult, especially against a team like [Victoria] that knows how to win.”

Offense continues to be a sore spot for the Ice. Through 10 games, Kootenay has only managed to send 20 pucks to twine, making them the second-lowest scoring team in the entire WHL. Only the Lethbridge Hurricanes, with 19 goals, have scored less than the Ice.

“We’re not working hard enough to get the puck in the [defensive] zone,” said forward Luke Philp after the game. “Then we’re tired when it comes down to creating offence. We’ve got to be a lot better at getting pucks back, working harder to get pucks back so we’re not spending our whole shift defending, because that’s what we’re doing right now.”

After netting his first career WHL shutout, Hoflin was victimized four times by the Royals.

The opening goal of the game came on a long power-play point shot from Royals defenceman Travis Brown. The puck was redirected on its way to the net before slipping through Hoflin to give the Royals a 1-0 edge after 20 minutes of play.

The hosts battled through the middle period, outshooting the visitors 12-6. Ultimately, the Royals made the most of their second-period chances to all but seal the triumph.

Logan Fisher added a third-period goal to make it 4-0 Victoria a little more than six minutes into the final period. If there were any comeback hopes remaining in the building, most of them were quietly erased following Fisher’s tally.

After being short two skaters last night due to injuries and suspensions, the Ice dressed a full roster for a little less than one period against the Royals. Forward Jon Martin, in only his second game back since returning from an upper-body injury, left the game late in the first period with a suspected upper-body injury.

He didn’t return after the first intermission.

The loss drops the Ice to 3-7-0-0 this season, and 2-1-0-0 on home ice. The Royals improved to 6-6-1-0 with the victory.

Next up, the Ice return to Saskatchewan for a pair of games beginning Tuesday night against the Prince Albert Raiders (4-6-0-0). The two-game swing carries on Wednesday when the Ice visit the Saskatoon Blades (3-7-0-0). The next home game for the Kootenay Ice comes Oct. 24 when the Calgary Hitmen (5-4-0-1) visit Western Financial Place.

“Our road record is not very good right now,” Philp said. “Playing on the road, it’s all about being competitive. We need a lot more of that. We need more guys to put more will into winning games. We don’t have enough of that right now.

“It’s tough. You’ve got to try not to get down on yourself. If you let in one early, you’ve got to keep battling. You can never stop competing out here. The second you don’t compete on the ice, you get walked on all over because teams are good in this league.”

Following tonight’s tilt, the Royals return home for the first time in 12 days after playing six consecutive games on the road. After a much deserved rest, they will host the Vancouver Giants (5-4-0-0) Oct. 24.

Notes: D Jordan Steenbergen was a healthy scratch against Victoria…D Bryan Allbee, D Dylan Overdyk and F Jared Legien returned to the lineup after serving team-imposed suspensions Friday against Regina…F Vince Loschiavo missed his fourth game with an upper-body injury and is expected to miss another week; F Tim Bozon is considered day-to-day as he missed his second game with a lower-body injury; D Rinat Valiev missed his 10th game of the year due to a lower-body injury. He is expected to be ready for another two to four weeks…Tonight’s game marked the final contest in a six-game road trip for Victoria that saw the team travel an astounding 3,709 km in 12 days…The Royals went 4-2-0-0 on that road trip…

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

Item no 22, De-Kieviet Kindergarten class - Highlands, Starting Bid: $20
Christmas Village 2020 school auction items

The annual Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are the auction items from local schools

It happened in 1913

Nov. 22 - 28: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Urban wildlife Part VI: The East Kootenay birds of autumn

The work of local photographers printed in the pages of the East Kootenay Advertiser throughout 2020. Part VI.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The bids for the 2020 Christmas Village are open as of noon on Thursday, November 26. Please scroll through this album to see auction items available for bidding.
Christmas Village 2020 auction items

The Christmas Village has gone virtual, here are all the details

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read