The second home season of the Victoria Royals got off to a stirring start Saturday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre as a near-capacity crowd of 6,579 was in throaty roar to belt out O Canada with Canucks' anthem singer Mark Donnelly.
Olympic gold-and silver medallist eights rowing coxswain Brian Price, representing the 48 Island Olympians from London 2012, received a rousing ovation as he dropped the ceremonial first puck with Victoria Royals owner Graham Lee.
Oh, and there was a hockey game, too, as the Royals made a success of their 2012-13 Memorial Centre debut with a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants to move to 2-0.
"We want these players to reach their highest potential," Lee said.
"We want to give them the environment in which to win, whether that's a new coaching/management staff [Dave Lowry and Cam Hope] or new [team sleeper] bus. The rest is up to them."
Each Royals goal was greeted by a din.
"Victoria fans have been very supportive," Lee said.
"It's a great market and the franchise has captured the imagination of the city."
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