On a night of presidential debate, what wasnt debatable is that the Victoria Royals scored a pretty darn nervy Western Hockey League comeback victory Wednesday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Defenceman Brett Cote capped a four-goal Victoria rally at 3:04 of overtime to give the Royals a 4-3 victory.
I was creeping in and Nelly [forward Logan Nelson] found me. My shot magically found its way through, said Cote, who scored his second goal of the season.
We did not have a great first period [in which Medicine Hat led 2-0] but had a really good last 40 minutes. But we cant do that every night. We need to play the full 60 minutes.
Those thoughts were echoed by Royals head coach Dave Lowry, who has his club off to a 4-1 record on the early season.
It was not a good start to the game and we have to start better . . . we were not sharp early, Lowry said. But I liked the fact that we showed were a resilient group.
Trevor Cox had a pretty good return to his home province as the five-foot-eight forward from Surrey scored the first two goals for Medicine Hat (3-1-1) in the first frame. Tigers teammate and 2013 NHL draft hot prospect, Hunter Shinkaruk, made it 3-0 with a laser at 13:44 of the second period.
Jamie Crooks, last seasons Royals MVP and leading scorer, scored his first goal of the season at 15:37 of the second period.
At 3-0, we felt down a bit but we dont give up, said Crooks.
We had a comeback last weekend against Kamloops and believed we could do it again. Im glad I chipped in and helped the boys out.
A power-play goal by Brandon Magee at 19:52, which just slid across the line, brought the Royals back to within one at 3-2.
We were a little bit down [emotionally] when we got behind but some of the older guys picked up the younger guys, said Magee, who also had an assist.
We spotted them three goals but stuck to our game plan.
Over-age 20-year-old Russian import Alex Gogolev tied it for the Royals with 1:13 left in the third period with six attackers and the Victoria net empty.
The two 18-year-old starting goaltenders know each other well after having played together on Czech Republic national teams from the U-16 to the U-19 levels at international tournaments. This night went the way of Patrik Polivka of the Royals, who made 14 saves in winning his fourth game in four starts. The far busier Marek Langhammer of the Tigers made 26 saves.
ICE CHIPS: Tyler Stahl had two assists on the night for Victoria . . . Forward Steven Hodges (lower-body injury) and defenceman Jordan Fransoo (lower-body injury) were the Victoria notables who missed the game . . . The Royals now depart on a four-game road swing through Spokane on Friday, Tri-City on Saturday, Vancouver on Sunday and Kamloops next Wednesday.
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