It was only fitting that Brandon Magee, one of the dwindling number of Victoria Royals with connections to the team’s days as the Chilliwack Bruins, led the Royals with four goals Friday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
The 6-4 Western Hockey League victory over the Vancouver Giants before 6,093 fans tied the franchise record for consecutive victories at six, first set when the team was located in Chilliwack.
The Royals (26-17-3) can break the record when they play the Giants again tonight in the Memorial Centre.
The league last-place Giants (12-37) are headed in the other director and lost for the fifth straight game.
Magee’s four goals tied the franchise record for a single game, first established by Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek last season.
“It’s awesome . . . my linemates were great and I was in the right place at the right time,” said Magee.
“After three years in the league, I finally got the monkey off my back with my first hat-trick.”
And plus one.
Royals leading-scorer Alex Gogolev, the defending WHL and Canadian Hockey League player of the week, continued his fine play with four assists while Victoria rookie Brandon Fushimi scored twice.
“The mood in the dressing room is really light,” said Magee.
“We know what we have to do to win. We’re a close knit group right now. It’s fun to be a Royal.”
Jamie Crooks, with a full face shield, and Tim Traber returned to the line-up but Victoria’s forwards remained banged up with Ben Walker, Logan Nelson, Luke Harrison and Trent Lofthouse scratched.
But with goals Friday coming from guys named Brandon at both ends of the roster — the veteran Magee and rookie Fushimi — Royals head coach Dave Lowry was pleased with his side’s full spectrum approach.
“The guys are working for each other and they know we have to get contributions from everyone,” said Lowry.
Jackson Houck led Vancouver with two goals, including one on a penalty shot.
The Giants starting goaltender Payton Lee was replaced in the third period by former Royals creaseman Jared Rathjen.
The game was rough with four fights.
Victoria captain Tyler Stahl received a major penalty and game misconduct in the first period for checking to the head and may face disciplinary action by the league.
ICE CHIPS: The Royals acquired the rights to 19-year-old defenceman Troy Stecher from the Portland Winter Hawks for a pair of eighth-round 2013 bantam draft picks. The highly mobile five-foot-11 captain of the Penticton Vees of the B.C. Hockey League has 36 points in 39 games this season and won the RBC Cup national Junior ‘A’ title last year with the Vees. Protected list players are allowed to be dealt after the WHL trade deadline. Stecher, however, is still likely to go play in the U.S. collegiate NCAA and bypass the WHL and the Royals.
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