Junior hockey update: Grizz split after two with Kings; Royals sweep home-and-home from Silvertips; Cougars in Cyclone Taylor Cup
The Victoria Cougars will make a second straight appearance in the Fred "Cyclone" Taylor Cup provincial Junior B championship when the Comox Valley Glacier Kings host it next month.
As the host team, the Glacier Kings have an automatic berth into the Cyclone Cup, April 11 to 14, versus the winners of the Pacific (Aldergrove Kodiaks vs. Delta Ice Hawks/Richmond Sockeyes) and Kootenay (Golden Rockets/Castlegar Rebels vs. Osoyoos Coyotes/North Okanagan Knights) junior B leagues.
On Saturday the Glacier Kings eliminated the upstart Nanaimo Buccaneers 6-3 to win the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League's North division final in six games.
The Cougars were previously victorious in the South final over the Saanich Braves, winning that series in five games.
Though the Cougars are the favourite to win the VIJHL's Brent Patterson Memorial Cup championship final, they already have a spot in the Cyclone Cup as VIJHL finalists.
Grizzlies split first two games with Powell River Kings
The Powell River Kings struck back on Saturday to defeat the Victoria Grizzlies a 3-1 and even the Island division BCHL playoff series at one win each. It shortens the best-of-five series to a best-of-three.
The Grizz opened the series with a 5-2 win at Bear Mountain Arena on Friday. Leo Fitzgerald scored a goal and three assists, Myles Fitzgerald scored a goal and two assists, and David Mazurek scored a goal as the top line paced the Grizz in Game 1. Call-up Josh Adkins and defenceman Nolan De Jong also scored on Friday. Goalie Brady Rouleau stopped 19 of 21 shots for the win.
Captain Zach Urban scored first on Saturday for the Grizz but the Kings responded with goals from Luke Nogard, Evan Richardson and Tegan Waugh to win 3-1.
Rouleau stopped 21 of 24, while Kings netminder Jonah Imoo stopped 24 of 25 for the win.
Royals stop skid, mark 2012-13 as best franchise season yet
The Victoria Royals swept a home-and-home series against the Everett Silvertips to end the Western Hockey League regular season and set a franchise record for wins and points.
On Friday the Royals won 4-1 at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and 4-3 in overtime in Everett on Saturday.
The sweep puts the Royals on an upward trend going into the playoffs, having dropped 14 of the previous 15 games.
The Royals set the franchise record of 77 points and wins of 35-30-2-5.
This week the sixth-place Royals prepare for Round 1 of the WHL playoffs versus the third-place Kamloops Blazers.
Games 1 and 2 are Friday (March 22) and Saturday in Kamloops.
The series returns to the Island, but not Victoria, for Games 3 and 4, Tuesday (March 26) and Thursday at Bear Mountain Arena.
Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, which is managed by the Royals ownership, is booked for the Ford World Men's Curling Championship. The curling set up means the hockey ice is melted out, and new curling sheets are frozen in.