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WHL: Royals roll to tense win over road Rebels

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VICTORIA — The Victoria Royals will roll out a new coach this weekend, but they made sure to give assistant bench boss Morgan Klimchuk a winning gift on Tuesday night, albeit not without a few anxious moments in the third period.

The Royals scored three goals in the first period and, despite giving up two late goals, hung on to defeat the visiting Red Deer Rebels 3-2 in Western Hockey League action at Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena.

Casper Evensen Haugen scored twice for the Royals (9-7-0-1), while Teydon Trembecky netted a single.

Kai Uchacz and Jhett Larson scored for the Rebels (6-8-0-2), who outshot the Royals 40-21 but had problems solving Royals' netminder Braden Holt.

James Patrick joined the Royals on Monday — replacing Dan Price — and will behind the bench Friday when Victoria hosts the Seattle Thunderbirds. Patrick spent the past six seasons with the Winnipeg ICE, and was named WHL coach of the year during the team's 2021-22 season.

Patrick has also worked as assistant coach in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres and Dallas Stars.

Price had spent the last seven years with the Royals.

Royals' associate general manager Jake Heisinger said about the coaching change: "In order to take the next steps now and in the future, as we transition deeper into our player development model, we are bringing in a fresh voice to lead our program.

"We thank Dan for his commitment to the organization and wish him well."

Elsewhere in the WHL on Tuesday:



KENNEWICK, Wash. — Cruz Pavao's second goal of the game, scored at 9:31 of the third period, snapped a 3-3 tie and gave the Tri-City Americans a 4-3 win over the visiting Kelowna Rockets.

Nick Anisimovicz and Alex Serraglio also scored for the Americans (9-5-1-1), who trailed 3-1 early in the second period.

Gabriel Szturc, Ty Hurley and Max Graham scored for the Rockets (7-9-1-0), who outshot the Americans 37-30.

* This roundup was generated automatically with a CP-developed application.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2023.