VICTORIA 3 CALGARY 1
This version of Trading Places didn't star Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd, but instead two guys named Alex Gogolev and Zane Jones.
Both players involved in the Western Hockey League pre-season trade, that sent Jones from the Victoria Royals to the Calgary Hitmen for Gogolev, scored in Thursday night's 3-1 Victoria victory over Calgary before an announced crowd of 4,739 at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
But it was Gogolev who finished with the upper hand with two goals.
Still, how sweet the first goal of the game must have felt for Jones when he took a turnover at centre ice and bore down alone on Victoria goaltender Patrik Polivka, burying the puck for his fifth goal of the season at 12: 37 of the second period.
Forward Steven Hodges, a 2012 draft pick of the Florida Panthers who had missed the eight previous games with an injury, positioned himself near the net and deflected a Logan Nelson point shot to tie the game at 17: 37 of the second period.
Gogolev, from close in, put Victoria ahead with the winning goal at 19: 20 of the second with his fourth goal of the season. The crafty Russian stickhandler then sealed the deal with an empty-netter in the third period.
Chase Lang of Nanaimo, who was fourth in B.C. Major Midget scoring last season with 23 goals and 60 points in 40 games with the hometown North Island Silvertips, is a 16-year-old rookie winger with the Hitmen. Lang almost had a memorable Island homecoming early in the third period. But facing a wide-open side of the net with the puck on his stick, Lang couldn't pull the trigger for the tying goal.
The Royals went 0-5 on the power play and the Hitmen didn't get a power play on the evening.
Chris Driedger made 26 saves in goal for Calgary and Polivka 20 for Victoria.
The Hitmen had the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference coming into the game but fell to 7-2-2, while Victoria is 8-4.
Victoria head coach Dave Lowry knows the Calgary organization well after having spent three seasons as an assistant coach and one season as head coach of the Hitmen from 2005-06 to 2008-09.
The Royals don't play again until a home date Tuesday at the Memorial Centre against the Brandon Wheat Kings.
ICE CHIPS: Three members of Canada's team from the Americas Rugby Championship - captain Tyler Ardron, Victoria's Connor Braid and 2011 World Cup veteran Hubert Buydens - dropped the ceremonial opening puck.
. . . Defenceman and Ottawa Senators draft pick Jordan Fransoo, who sat out the previous Royals' game on a coach's decision, drew back in Thursday night and helped lead an impressive Victoria defensive effort which kept the Calgary shooters well to the outside.