Stretching as far as he could, Trae Johnson just reached the puck outside the crease before quickly going into a lengthy toe-drag around goaltender Tyler Palmer’s poke check and netting it on the far side.
After a scoreless opening period, it was the first of the three goals in under three minutes for the visiting Brandon Wheat Kings against the Victoria Royals at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday night (Oct. 15).
But the Royals, coming off their first win of the season days earlier, didn’t flinch after being suddenly down 3-0 midway through the game.
With under three minutes left in the second, Carter Dereniwsky edged past his defender while streaking into the zone before receiving a Caleb Willms feed and finishing with a backhand to forehand deke around the Wheat Kings goaltender. Dereniwsky would have a hand in another Royals’ goal before the break to make it a one-goal game going into the third.
Victoria grabbed another early in the third before the team potted two more ahead of the final buzzer. The five unanswered goals for the home team earned them their second win of the year, along with some praise for the resiliency they showed after the mid-game stumble.
“That was definitely a players’ win,” said head coach and GM Dan Price postgame. “To be honest, after that third (Brandon) goal, we as coaches kind of just stepped back … we really just wanted to let them roll and figure it out, so in every sense – not just the contributions on the ice, not just the distribution of minutes – in every sense, the resiliency, the comeback, the leadership, that had zero to do with the coaches and everything to do with the players.”
The Royals will remain at home for their next two contests, welcoming the Winnipeg Ice to town on Tuesday, Oct. 18 before taking on the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
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