It was a sometimes bumpy weekend, but the Victoria Royals got a good sense of the impact newcomers to their lineup can have on their games.
As the club opens a four games in nine days road stretch Wednesday (Jan. 17) in Portland, the Royals can reflect on the positives from a pair of victories over the Kamloops Blazers last Friday and Saturday at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Jeff de Wit, in his sixth game with the Royals since coming over from the Kootenay Ice, scored twice and set up a goal by linemate and fellow newcomer Andrei Grishakov on Saturday as Victoria overcame an early 3-0 deficit and won 5-4. De Wit, who tallied five points on the weekend, has nine points in six games with the team, while Grishakov has five in five since his trade from Calgary.
One of deWit’s goals, a shorthanded marker late in the first, was set up by Tanner Kaspick, who was acquired from the Brandon Wheat Kings last week and made his presence felt in both games with his tenacious forechecking. He scoring the eventual winner into an empty net and took a team-high eight shots on goal in Friday’s 6-5 win.
Forward Dante Hannoun, playing on a line with fellow veterans Matthew Phillips and Tyler Soy, scored twice in each game to drive the offence.
Soy marked a milestone with the team Friday, recording his 152nd and 153rd career assists to make him the all-time franchise leader in that department. Igor Martynov added two goals in the game.
The Royals out-and-back road swing includes some key B.C. Division contests in Langley against the Vancouver Giants on Friday, in Kelowna against the division-leading Rockets on Saturday and Jan. 26 back in Langley. Victoria returns to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Jan. 27 when they host the Calgary Hitmen.