Given their final chance to shine in front of team brass, Victoria Royals hopefuls entertained a small crowd of fans for three periods and then some on Wednesday night at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.
Second-year Royals forward Tarun Fizer scored the ultimate winning goal in a shootout to give Team Blue a 4-3 win over Team White in the club’s eighth annual training camp-ending intrasquad game.
Riley Zimmerman, Blake Bentham and Jay Jerome scored for Team Blue in regulation, while Logan Valkama, Kaid Oliver and Tyus Gent replied for Team White.
Dean McNabb, who saw action in 28 games with the Royals last season, kicked out all 14 shots he faced in the Blue net, giving way at the game’s midway point to prospect Brock Gould, who stopped 16 of 19 shots the rest of the way. Joel Grzybowski, who played in seven games with the Saskatoon Blades last season before being acquired by the Royals, kicked out all 10 Blue shots in the first and was followed in net by prospects Keegan Maddocks and Connor Martin.
Many returning players did not dress for the game, giving team officials a longer look at players on the cusp of making the team.
After trimming the roster, the Royals launch their Western Hockey League pre-season exhibition schedule Friday (Aug. 31) in Kelowna against the Rockets, then head to Kamloops for a game against the Blazers the next night.
The Royals are among four teams taking part in a pre-season tournament hosted in Langley by the Vancouver Giants. Victoria games there happen Sept. 7 (vs. Vancouver), Sept. 8 (vs. Everett) and Sept. 9 (vs. Prince George).
The Royals open their regular season with a Friday-Saturday doubleheader weekend at home Sept. 21 and 22 against Prince George.