The Edmonton Oil Kings take the ferry to play Victoria on Friday, looking to avenge the 3-2 overtime loss back in October when the Royals came and visited. Matthew Phillips scored with 5 seconds left in overtime to break the hearts of Oil King fans and save them from the shootout.
The WHL portion of the 2017 CIBC Canada-Russia Series is over and after a dominating 7-0 win in Moose Jaw, the Western Hockey League All-Stars lost 4-3 to the Russian team after leading 3-0 in Swift Current. Victoria Royals star Matthew Phillips had one goal in these two games, and although that is nothing to sneeze at, fans of the Royals and those who follow the Calgary Flames prospect were likely hoping for a more Dillon Dube-like domination.
But does how a player do in these two games guarantee any future professional success? Do not fear, here is a list of players with only 1 goal in a single 2-game series, as well as players who had great games and saw little to zero future in the NHL.
Fresh off of a sweep of the Vancouver Giants last weekend, the Victoria Royals are back for games 3 and 4 of a 5 game homestand. Up on Friday and Saturday night are the Kelowna Rockets, who always seem to give the Royals trouble. They’ve only played once this season, an 8-3 win for Victoria in Kelowna, but the Rockets won 6 times in 8 games during their season series last year. To show the league that they are the best team in the B.C. Division, the Royals will need a pair of big games on home ice.
The Vancouver Giants are on the island this weekend to play the Royals, a team who decimated them in their only two meetings so far. Victoria is back at home after a tough Eastern road trip while Vancouver are looking to return to .500 against one of their biggest rivals.
The Victoria Royals have surprised a lot of people to begin the 2017-2018 season, currently sitting at 10-4-1, good for 1st in the Western Hockey League. They also hold a comfortable 9 point lead atop the B.C. Division thanks to a struggling Kelowna Rockets team. The Royals have scored the most goals and have the best save percentage in the league, which seems to point to an unstoppable force, but there may be an underlying problem here that could threaten to derail their historic start.
The Canadian Sport School Hockey League (the CSSHL) has developed into quite the development league for Western Hockey League teams and the Victoria Royals especially. Eleven of their draft picks from the 2016 and 2017 WHL Bantam Drafts are currently playing in either the Midget Prep or Elite 15s Division, with some varying success. Let’s run down who’s doing what, and if success at this level could translate to success with the Royals down the line.