WHL: Royals survive own goal to beat Americans

The Canadian Press

10/7/2012 2:42:01 AM

Scoring on your own empty net is never a good sign.

Fortunately for the Victoria Royals, they overcame their blunder Saturday to secure a 4-3 shootout win over the Tri-City Americans in the Western Hockey League.

On a delayed penalty in the second period, the Royals worked the puck around to the back of the Tri-City net, where Jamie Crooks sent the puck back out front. The only problem was no one was there to pick it up.

As the puck slid down the ice, Victoria's Tyler Stahl gave chase, but the puck found the net before Stahl could catch up.

"I've seen that on ESPN's Top-10 weird plays," Royals' forward Logan Nelson said. "But we didn't let it get to us. We played a team game the rest of the game."

Nelson, who had two goals in regulation, scored the game-winner in the shootout for Victoria (5-2-0), while goalie Jared Rathjen stopped all three Tri-City shooters and finished with 33 saves in regulation and overtime.

Brandon Magee also scored for the Royals, while Joe Hicketts had two assists.

Brian Williams, who was awarded the empty-net goal, Justin Feser and Connor Rankin scored for the Americans (3-3-1).

Eric Comrie made 27 saves in a losing effort.

Victoria went 2-for-5 on the power play while Tri-City went 2-for-6

Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Edmonton 4, Saskatoon 1; Kamloops 4, Medicine Hat 1; Moose Jaw 4, Portland 2; Kelowna 7, Prince George 5; Swift Current 2, Regina 1; Seattle 5, Everett 2; Spokane 4, Lethbridge 2; and Brandon 2, Red Deer 1.

At Kennewick, Wash., Magee put Victoria up 1-0 at 1:11 of the second period with a power-play goal.

Tri-City tied the game when Crooks scored into his own goal.

Feser gave the Americans a lead with a power-play goal at 16:35, but Nelson scored his first of the night at 18:44.

With 20 seconds remaining in the second period Topping put Tri-City up 3-2.

Nelson's second goal of the night tied the game and forced a shootout.

Oil Kings 4, Blades 1

At Edmonton, Laurent Brossoit posted 27 saves and added two assists as the Oil Kings (4-2-0) scored three power-play goals to defeat Saskatoon (2-5-0).


Blazers 4 ,Tigers 1

At Kamloops, B.C., JC Lipon scored twice and Tim Bozon had a goal and two assists as the Blazers (5-0-1) downed Medicine Hat (3-3-1).


Warriors 4, Winterhawks 2

At Moose Jaw, Sask., Sam Fioretti scored once and added two assists and Daniel Wapple made 32 saves as the Warriors (3-3-0) doubled up Portland (4-2-0).


Rockets 7, Cougars 5

At Prince George, B.C., Myles Bell scored once and set up three more and Rourke Chartier scored twice as Kelowna (3-3-1) downed the Cougars (4-1-1).


Broncos 2, Pats 1

At Swift Current, Sask., Eetu Laurikainen stopped 25 shots and Ryon Moser increased his point streak to seven games with a goal as the Broncos (3-0-4) downed Regina (3-5-0).


Thunderbirds 5, Silvertips 2

At Kent, Wash., Shea Theodore scored twice and added an assist as Seattle (3-3-0) downed Everett (1-4-1).


Chiefs 4, Hurricanes 2

At Spokane, Wash., Eric Williams earned the game's first star by making 27 saves and Collin Valcourt's power-play goal in the first period was the difference as the Chiefs (4-1-0) doubled up Lethbridge (2-4-0).


Wheat Kings 2, Rebels 1

At Brandon, Ryan Pulock scored both of his club's goals and Nick Buonassisi assisted on each of them as the Wheat Kings (5-2-0) downed Red Deer (2-5-1).