Royals Fall to BlazersMarch 28, 2012 - Western Hockey League (WHL) Victoria Royals
Victoria opened the scoring at 8:02 of the first period when, from behind the Blazers' net, Ben Walker fed Zane Jones in the slot who snapped a shot past Cheveldave. Victoria doubled their lead on Jamie Crooks' second goal of the playoffs at the15:16 mark. Crooks accepted a pass from Steven Hodges just inside the Blazers' blue line and rifled a shot off the left post and in. Kamloops looked to pull within one late in the period but had a goal disallowed when they were whistled for goaltender interference. After 20 minutes, Victoria held a 2-0 lead.
Kamloops would tie the game early into the second period with a shorthanded marker from Dylan Willick and an even-strength goal from Tim Bozon. Landon Cross gave the Blazers the 3-2 lead with a powerplay tally at the 4:36 mark after he wristed a shot high to the glove side on Rathjen. Crooks answered a mere 1:15 later with his second of the night. Royals' defenseman Jordan Fransoo let a shot go from the point that rang off the post before Crooks gathered the rebound and snapped it past Cheveldave. Crooks completed the hat-trick to put Victoria up 4-3 at 8:26 after he shoveled home the rebound off of Jesse Zgraggen's initial shot. Kamloops found the equalizer at 14:35 when Jordan DePape corralled a loose puck out of a scrum and fired a backhand shot that beat the Royals' netminder over the blocker. Matt Needham regained the lead for the Blazers with a shorthanded shot that beat Rathjen over the left shoulder at 17:26. Keith Hamilton replaced Rathjen after Kamloops' fifth goal. The Blazers would add another goal late in period to give them a 6-4 lead heading into the second intermission.
Victoria came out strong in the third period as Austin Carroll notched the Royals' fifth goal of the night just 1:20 into the frame. Victoria's captain Hayden Rintoul wristed a shot on net that was stopped by Cheveldave. The rebound rolled loose in the crease for Carroll to bang home the puck through the legs of the Kamloops goalie for his second tally of the playoffs. Colin Smith gave the visitors a two-goal lead when he scored at the 6:38 mark to round out the scoring. Blazers 7 Royals 5.
Victoria went 0/4/ 0.00% on the power play, while Kamloops was 3/6 50.00%. The Blazers outshot the Royals 33-23.
The Victoria Royals' next home game is on Wednesday, March 28 when they take on the Kamloops Blazers in Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Game time is at 7:05 p.m. For further details or to purchase your tickets today, visit the Victoria Royals Ticket Office, www.victoriaroyals.com, or call 250-220-7889.
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