Victoria, BC – In a Saturday night match-up at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals squared off against the Spokane Chiefs. The Royals started Patrik Polivka in net while the Chiefs gave the nod to Eric Williams.
Spokane opened the scoring for the second consecutive night midway through the first period on an Alessio Bertaggia powerplay marker at the 10:11 mark. Mike Aviani was stationed to Polivka's right and fed a backhand pass between his legs across the crease to Bertaggia who redirected the puck into the back of the net. The Chiefs' lead was eliminated at 17:52 when Jack Walker buried his sixth goal of the season. Walker threaded Logan Nelson a pass on the left wing who made a quick move before he returned it to the rookie defenceman on the point. The Edina, MN native strung a quick shot through a crowd in front and past the blocker of Williams. After 20 minutes of play, the game was tied 1-1.
The Chiefs regained the lead when they netted a goal after an offensive zone faceoff 4:43 into the second period. Dylan Walchuk won the draw straight back to Todd Fiddler who wired a shot off the crossbar and in from the top of the right circle. Spokane added to their lead just 26 seconds later courtesy of a bizarre bounce. Blake Gal fired a long shot over the top of the net that ricocheted off the glass and hit Polivka in the back before the puck trickled into the net to give the Chiefs a 3-1 lead. Ben Walker grabbed one back for the Royals with a powerplay tally at 11:40 of the middle frame. Jack Walker began the play in the neutral zone when he hit Logan Nelson with a cross-ice pass to gain the zone. Nelson chipped the puck up to Ben Walker who launched a laser top corner past Williams' blocker to cut Spokane's lead to 3-2. Victoria still trailed by one goal as the two teams headed into the second intermission.
The Royals controlled the play in the third period as they earned two powerplay opportunities and fired 16 shots on Williams over the course of the frame. The Chiefs' netminder stood tall between the pipes and forced Victoria to pull their goalie for the extra attacker with one minute left to play, but the home team could not find the equalizer. Chiefs 3 Royals 2.
Victoria went 1/5 = 20.0% on the power play, while Spokane was 1/1= 100.0%. The Royals outshot the Chiefs 39-29.