This Friday the Victoria Royals will face a team from south of the border for the first time since the pandemic first impacted Western Hockey League play.
The Nov. 26 game against the Everett Silvertips at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (7:05 p.m. start) comes a full 20 months after Victoria was involved in a game between cross-border opponents.
The Royals played Portland just days before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WHL season in March 2020. Last season saw the Royals play in a B.C. Division bubble.
From a competitive standpoint, Friday’s game will feature the Western Conference’s best and worst teams. The only loss for the U.S. Division-leading Silvertips (16-0-0-1) came in a shootout, while the B.C. Division cellar-dwelling Royals (2-11-2-0) have struggled to score and prevent goals.
Victoria head coach Dan Price acknowledged the Everett club will serve up a test for his club.
“Our group is energized and looking forward to feeling the energy from our home crowd,” he said.
Despite their struggles, the Royals are on a minor upswing, having beat the Vancouver Giants 3-2 in their last game Nov. 20 after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Kamloops on Nov. 6.
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