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Disputed goal sends Victoria Royals' winless streak to 17 games

There were other hockey games Wednesday night outside Beijing. There was one in Kamloops with a familiar result for the Victoria Royals. If 16 wasn’t sweet, 17 was sour for the Royals.
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Blazers forward Matt Seminoff tries to get a shot away on Royals goaltender Campbell Arnold during the first period in Kamloops on Wednesday night. ALLEN DOUGLAS, KAMLOOPS BLAZERS

There were other hockey games Wednesday night outside Beijing. There was one in Kamloops with a familiar result for the Victoria Royals.

If 16 wasn’t sweet, 17 was sour for the Royals. The Kamloops Blazers sent the Royals’ winless streak spiraling to a 17th game in the WHL with a 6-4 victory on a disputed winning goal at the Sandman Centre.

The Royals argued, with the score tied, that Victoria goaltender Campbell Arnold was bumped on Drew Englot’s goal at 10:13 of the third period that made it 5-4. But goaltender interference was not called. Englot got the insurance goal less than two minutes later.

“I respectfully disagree [about the non-interference call on Englot’s winner],” said Royals GM and head coach Dan Price.

“But it’s only their [officials’] opinion that matters.”

Fraser Minten, one of 15 WHL 2022 NHL-draft eligible players selected for the Canadian Hockey League Top Prospects game, scored twice for Kamloops on a three-point night.

Captain Tarun Fizer had a goal and two assists for the Royals and Brayden Schuurman, the 58th-ranked North American skater for the NHL draft, had a goal and assist. Bailey Peach and Riley Gannon scored the other Victoria goals.

“We did a good job of getting to the net but Kamloops did a better job of getting to the net,” said Price.

The Blazers outshot the Royals 42-26.

New York Rangers-signed goaltender Dylan Garand of Langford, who has twice represented Canada in the world junior tournament, started for the Blazers but left in the second period with what appeared to be an injury after the Royals touched him for two goals on 15 shots. Victoria also got to replacement Dylan Ernst with two goals on the first five shots.

After having discipline problems in previous games, the Royals smartened up and incurred no penalties for only the third time in franchise history.

“That was a great response to what had been an issue [penalties] for us,” said Price.

Going the other way, the Victoria power play went 2-5.

The CHL top-10-ranked Blazers moved to 34-12-1 while Victoria fell to 12-29-5.

The game began a stretch of five consecutive on the road for the Royals, continuing Friday evening at the Langley Events Centre against the Vancouver Giants, Saturday night in Everett, Washington, against the Silvertips, and Monday afternoon and Feb. 25 back in Langley against the Giants.

cdheensaw@timescolonist.com