Friday, 2 September 2011

Royals Can't Conquer Kamloops

The Royals lost tonight in their first pre season match up vs the Kamloops Blazers 4-2. A special teams were not enough to put the Royals past the Blazers, as over age forward Robin Soudek, and rookie D man Kade Pilton were the only players to score for the Royals on Friday night.

Soudeks short handed marker came in the first minute of the 2nd period, giving the Royals the chance to climb back into the game. They fell back to 2 goals down in the 3rd until rookie defenseman Kade Pilton brought the Royals back within one on a late period power play. But penalties ultimately caught up with the Royals, as a penalty in the last five minutes of the game ultimately sealed their fate.

Goaltenders Jared Rathjen, and Braden Gamble split tonights game, both allowing 2 goals over a combined 36 shots against.

The Royals next action comes tomorrow night vs the Kelowna Rockets at 7:05 PST.

Follow me on twitter @RoyalsBlogger

Royals Sign Hicketts, Crunk and Others.

July 1st the Victoria Royals announced the signing of 2011 1st round pick Joey Hicketts to a contract. Hicketts (15) has had a great camp so far, and will accompany the team on it's road trip through the exhibition season.

On July 2nd the Royals anounced the signing of forwards Reid Helabi, Taylor Crunk and, goaltender Jared Rathjen. 

Taylor Crunk, who impressed many with his two individual rushes that resulted in goals in the Black and White game Wednesday night, is from San Jacinto, Ca. The 5'11 LW will be an interesting rookie to keep a close eye on in his first WHL season.

The Royals play in Kamloops tonight at 7:05 PST. I will be periodically tweeting updates on my account @RoyalsBlogger

Thursday, 1 September 2011

White vs Black: Intrasquad Game Recap.

There are two potential 1st year Royals D men that really caught my eye at tonight's intrasquad game.

Now I'm fuzzy on the rules, but I'm not sure if first year bantam drafted players are eligible for the WHL. But if they are, Joey Hicketts may be a kid to watch. He's only 5'10, but he plays much bigger. He was the best skater on the ice tonight, but not by as much as I initially thought. But this kid has it all! I just wonder how much coach Habscheid will reel him in.

The other guy that blew me away was 16 yr old (turns 17 in November) Kade Pilton. 6'4, 194 lbs this kid can skate, and handle the puck. He could add a bit more of a nasty streak, but this was only my first look at him. And he does have a fight to his credit on But the tools are there for this kid to be a big presence on the blueline. Kade scored what would be the co highlight reel goal of the night, on a solo rush mid way through the 2nd period.

The "manchild" Keegan Kanzig (6'5, 230lbs) was barely noticable. He had a few decent chances on the PP for team Black in the first period. After that, I didn't much notice him the rest of the game. Which could say a lot for a kid the size he is. Or perhaps, if I could get a look at a stats sheet, he may not have seen nearly as much ice time as others. Either way, nothing big, or small to report on the behemoth from Saskatchewan.

One forward more than any other stood out. That being Tyler Crunk from Southern California (San Diego region). The kid has good wheels, and an excellent set of hands. Seems like a good bet for the Royals this season. He had two goals for team Black. Both coming off a rush. The first was 10 seconds into the 2nd period. The 2nd goal came part way through the third. It was a rush from apx the red line in, where he split two defenders, while also beating his check on the inside part of the neutral zone. This was definitely the co highlight reel goal of the night.

The last player who really impressed me tonight was 5'7 forward Ross Heidt. The only problem I see w/ Heidt is his stature. 5'7 isn't terribly small for the WHL but, 135 lbs is a bit concerning. Some of the players he would be going up against on a regular basis are NHL draft picks, who have a couple training camps behind them. So big kids, that have a much better understanding of what it takes to be a pro. This may mean Heidt could use another year of development, and hopefully come back to camp next fall with a little more size. But, he does have his fearless nature, and willingness to go into the dirty areas, on top of his speed and skill going for him. Something to take into consideration with a player like Heidt.

G Coleman Vollrath only played the first period, but did an excellent job tracking pucks, and remaining square to the shooter. He challenges in one on one situations, and shows incredible feet. Over only one period, it was difficult to spend as much time watching Vollrath as I wanted to. Hopefully I will get another chance to watch him, later in the pre season.

Honourable mentions...

F Zane Jones
D Jesse Paul
D Spencer Loverock
D Brayden Park
F Matt Bissett
D Jordan Rooke *Rooke had a terrible 2nd period. Bounced back nicely in the 3rd. Plays a mean, stay at home game.

I appologize for the mish mash of points on tonights Black and White game. I wasn't as prepared as I should have been, and did not take notes. So if you have anything to add, that I may have missed, or perhaps have wrong, please let me know. Comments, and critique are always welcome.

Follow me on twitter @RoyalsBlogger or add me to Facebook: Patrick Clayton

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Catching Up!

Well, a lot has happened since I last posted. So, where to start?

CHL Import Draft

The Royals took one player via the CHL import draft, 6'1 180lb  Czech forward Lukas Kralik. Kralik is a big, skilled forward who is going to need some time to adapt himself to the rough and go style of the WHL. But with that kind of size, and soft hands, he shouldn't have a difficult time putting up points for the Royals.

Adding Leadership

On July 7th the Royals traded for overage D man Hayden Rintoul. Rintoul doesn't represent much for the future of the team, but he will provide much needed leadership for the team.

Rintoul is a rugged D man, who is not afraid to drop the gloves. His experience in the WHL takes him through 3 seasons, a WHL Championship, and a trip to the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

Conacher Steps Down

July 26th the Royals announced the departure of assistant coach Pat Conacher. Conacher will take over as the Head Coach of the Regina Pats.

More Wheeling and Dealing

The Royals added 16 year old winger Justin Spagrud, and a 2nd round pick from the Tri City Americans for defenseman Mitch Topping.
Spagrud is 5'11, 170lb winger. His AAA midget numbers don't blow you away (9g, 7 a in 36gp) but, Spagrud will be given a legitimate chance to make the Royals this season.

Training Camp Schedule

Dates to note for the training camp schedule.

*August 25th-28th 8 am to 10 pm rookie camp scrimmages will take place between 8 teams of 1st year players.
*Main Camp Starts August 29th with scrimmages from 10-1pm and 5:15-10:15pm. August 30th ice times will take place at Bear Mountain Arena.
*August 31st will be the Royals Intrasquad game at Save On Foods Arena starting at 7:05. Admission to the game will be by donation. Check the link above for further information.

New, new voice of the Victoria Royals

The Victoria Royals were forced to go looking for a new, new voice of the team when would be play by play man, Dave Sawchuk took a career opportunity with EMI Canada. The Royals reached out, and grabbed former Lethbridge Hurricans play by play man Marlon Martens.

Follow Marlen on twitter @Marlon_Martens

I will be attending Thursday and Fridays rookie scrimmages at Save On Foods, and providing as in depth of a follow up as I can.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Welcome Your Victoria Royals

Today the name and logo for the new Victoria WHL franchise was announced. The Victoria Royals will be taking the ice for their first season in the WHL this fall.

Photo Courtesy Dave Sawchuk of Official voice of the Victoria Royals.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


This will be a fan blog for the soon to be named Victoria WHL team. I'll be covering as many games as I can attend in person, which should be the majority of them. As well, I'll do my best to cover any goings on in the WHL, and the CHL. Especially any pertaining to our Victoria team.

This is a very exciting thing for me, to help cover the game I love from a fans perspective. Hopefully I'll get to meet many of my readers at the games this up coming season.

Go (whatever the name is) Go.