Royals look to stay warm against top-ranked ICE – Victoria Royals
Victoria and Winnipeg will face off for the first time since 2020 this Tuesday at SOFMC
Fresh off a big win over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday night, the Victoria Royals will host their second straight Eastern Conference opponent as they host Winnipeg ICE at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. for the industry evening. presented by Granville Island Brewery.
Saturday marked Victoria’s second straight victory (2-7-1-0) after posting a 5-2 victory over the Kelowna Rockets earlier in the week, a sign they could turn things around after an early difficult year. .
Royals assistant coach Morgan Klimchuk has been impressed with the cohesion the team has shown in recent games and believes it will be key to securing a third straight win on Tuesday:
“We have to stick to the style that got us to this success,” Klimchuk said after the team’s practice on Monday. “Stay close, work as a team. Playing for the guy next to you, and with the guy next to you has been a big message for us recently and I think it’s working.
Forward Matthew Hodson’s play has also been a key part of the team’s recent success, posting six points on four goals and two assists during a five-game point streak.
The Saskatoon, SK product started the season as one of several deep forwards vying for ice time on the Royals’ roster, but he quickly found himself playing the best minutes on the league’s top line. team with their recent performance and provided the team with some production in the absence of top center Brayden Schuurman.
Coach Klimchuk praised the young striker for exceeding expectations in the first weeks of the season:
“I have to give Hody [Hodson] a lot of credit,” Klimchuk said. “Going into it we knew there was an attacking capability there but after an injury in pre-season we didn’t have high expectations…but all credit to him he did a great job starting on the defensive side of things and small details that usually turn into attacking chances and in no way shape or form did he cheat on those occasions he does it the right way.
Goaltender Tyler Palmer has also been finding his form lately, allowing three or fewer goals in each of his last five games, including a masterful 40-save performance against the Kelowna Rockets in the team’s first win last Wednesday. .
The Royals will look to keep their positive momentum going as they take on a fiery Winnipeg ICE team (7-1-0-0) who currently hold first place in the CHL standings and have recorded seven wins in their eight first matches. .
ICE is considered one of the best all-around teams in the country, with depth and talent in the roster. However, forwards Connor Geekie and Matthew Savoie – both of whom were among the top 15 picks in the 2022 NHL Draft – remain the star names in the Winnipeg roster.
Coach Klimchuk spoke about some of the challenges Winnipeg presents as an opponent:
“A lot of special players in this team, real top-notch talent,” Klimchuk said. “So being aware of when these players are on the ice and playing a certain style against them is definitely going to be our priority.”
Savoie is widely regarded as one of the best playmakers in the WHL, amassing 90 points on 25 goals and 55 assists in 65 games last season and maintaining that rate with six points on two goals and four assists in four games this season. . His ability to produce on the offensive end of the puck is a big reason the Buffalo Sabers selected Savoie ninth overall in the NHL Draft this summer.
Meanwhile, teammate Connor Geekie poses an equally dangerous offensive threat to ICE and will be another player the Royals will need to contain if they are to come away with a win on Tuesday.
The Arizona Coyotes prospect has built an impressive WHL career over the past few seasons, scoring 100 points on 38 goals and 62 assists in 101 games, including seven (five goals, two assists) in seven games this year .
In addition to the Winnipeg roster’s arsenal of offensive weapons, the team also retains one of the best goaltenders in the league in Daniel Hauser. The Chestermere, Alta., native picked up where he left off last year – where he led all goaltenders in wins, shutouts and goals against average – posting a perfect record of 6-0-0-0 and leading the league with a 1.48 goals-against average and .944 save percentage in six starts this year.
One player on the Royals roster who has faced ICE in the recent past is forward Caleb Willms, who played several games against Winnipeg while a member of the Medicine Hat Tigers.
Willms tried to pass on some of his ICE knowledge to his Royals teammates, hoping to give them an edge on Tuesday:
“Obviously they’re a very competent team, with a lot of draft picks,” Willms said. “A lot of speed and very skilled, but I think we can definitely skate with them and it will be a very good game.”
The two teams will meet on Tuesday night when the puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Center in downtown Victoria. The game will include $15 tickets and $5 Granville Island Brewing beers. Tickets can be purchased at selectyourtickets.com.
Impact players to watch:
#14 Carter Dereniwsky (F) – 10 GP, 6 PTS (4G, 2A)
#28 Riley Gannon (F) – 10 GP, 6 PTS (1G, 5A)
#3 Justin Kipkie (R) – 9 GP, 3 PTS (2 G, 1 A)
#17 Owen Pederson (F) – 8 GP, 12 PTS (4 G, 8 A)
#94 Connor McClennon (F) – 8 GP, 11 PTS (5 G, 6 A)
#4 Ben Zloty (D) – 8 GP, 7 PTS (1 G, 6 A)
Get your ticket packs now
Several ticket packages are available for purchase, including a family package, a Prospect package and Molson Ice seats. Call our box office at 250-220-7889, email email@example.com or visit our website for more information victoriaroyals.com/ticket-promos.
About the Victoria Royals
The Victoria Royals are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League (WHL) owned and operated by GSL Group. The Royals play all their home games at Save-On-Foods Memorial Center and entered their 12e season of their existence.
About the Save-On Foods Memorial Center
Save-On-Foods Memorial Center (SOFMC) is designed, built, developed and operated by GSL Group. SOFMC is Victoria’s premier entertainment facility and BC’s largest arena outside of Vancouver. The state-of-the-art 7,000-seat facility is home to the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals and regularly hosts large-scale concerts and other special events such as figure skating, curling, plays, trade shows and conferences. SOFMC also offers a gourmet restaurant Lion’s Den, as well as retail and meeting space.