Victoria Royals go down in season opener

EVERETT  6
VICTORIA  0

The Victoria Royals had a rather peculiar streak ended Saturday night.

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The Royals began their previous two Western Hockey League seasons 7-0 in both 2017-18 and 2018-19. It won’t happen in 2019-20, and decidedly so, as the Royals were drubbed 6-0 by the Everett Silvertips to start the season.

The Silvertips, who opened the season with a 4-2 loss Friday against the Tri-City Americans, came out with purpose against Victoria before 4,420 fans at Angel of the Winds Arena in Washington state.

It was a hectic first period for Royals 20-year-old goaltender Shane Farkas as he was forced to stop both a breakaway and Bryce Kindopp penalty shot.

Everett’s Wyatte Wylie got to Farkas on the power play at 15:26 of the first period. Kindopp, at just 17 seconds of the second period, and Justyn Gurney at 9:30, pushed that to a three-goal advantage by the second break. Kindopp and Wylie notched their second goals of the game, and Max Patterson also scored for the Silvertips, in the third period.

The Royals began the season with two key veteran forwards, Phillip Schultz and Kaid Oliver, on the injury shelf. After a scoreless opening night, they can't return quickly enough.

Farkas and Brock Gould combined for 26 saves while Dustin Wolf made 26 saves for the Silvertips’ shutout. Victoria went 0-5 on the power play and Everett 1-5.

The Royals’ home openers are next Friday and Saturday against the Prince George Cougars at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

The Cougars are 0-2 after dropping their first two games at home against the Canadian Hockey League nationally 10th-ranked Vancouver Giants. Vancouver has unfinished business after coming within overtime in Game 7 against the Prince Albert Raiders in the WHL playoff final last spring.

It was a surprisingly miserable 0-2 weekend start for the highly touted Kamloops Blazers, ranked No. 5 in the CHL national top-10 poll.

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