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Winterhawks sweep Royals in weekend set

Portland beats Victoria 5-2 on Saturday
Coach James Patrick's Royals fell to the Winterhawks on Saturday. (DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST)

This round of an old inter-city hockey rivalry belonged ­decidedly to Portland as the ­Winterhawks defeated the ­Victoria Royals 5-2 before 4,172 fans on Saturday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

The puck battle between the B.C. capital and Oregon’s largest city goes back a long way to when the Victoria Cougars eventually became the Detroit Red Wings and the Portland Rosebuds the Chicago Blackhawks. It continued with the Victoria Maple Leafs and Portland Buckaroos squaring off in some classic games in the pro WHL of the 1960s and through the Winterhawks and Cougars duels of the major-junior WHL.

Now it’s the Winterhawks versus the Royals with Portland (39-14-3) ranked No. 7 in the CHL top-10 poll and playing like it with the best winning percentage in the Western Confernce and second best in the WHL behind Saskatoon. The Winterhawks swept the weekend set in Victoria by following up Friday’s 6-2 win

“I thought we played better tonight,” said Royals head coach James Patrick. “You see where they [Hawks] are in the standings and you see their talent level. We stuck with it and found a way to get back to 2-2. Our players can learn from the pace they play at.”

Detroit Red Wings first-round draft pick Nate Danielson had a goal and assist for Portland. Deegan Kinniburgh and Tyson Laventure scored for Victoria.