Victoria Royals get city its first WHL regular season title in 35 years

The last time a Victoria team accomplished the feat was 1981 behind the play of future Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr.

Royals have been excellent on offense and defense throughout the regular season

Victoria Royals goaltender Coleman Vollrath makes a stop against the Prince George Cougars on March 11. The Royals won that game 6-2. (victoriaroyals.com)

For the first time in 35 years, a Victoria junior hockey team has won the Western Hockey League's regular season points race.

The Victoria Royals clinched first place in the league by beating the Kelowna Rockets 7-4 in Kelowna on Wednesday night, earning them home-ice advantage throughout the WHL playoffs.

"This team, barring injuries, knock on wood, this team really could be a Memorial Cup-bound team," All Points West sports columnist Jeff King told host Robyn Burns.

"I know that's bold to say, but, my god, there's no other team in the country that's going the way these guys are going right now."

The Royals have gotten to this point with excellent offense and defence; they've scored the third-most goals of any team this year and they've let in the fewest.

Leading the way offensively have been Cloverdale-born center Tyler Soy, whose 42 goals are tied for third-best in the WHL, while left wing Alex Forsberg's 88 points have him sitting at number nine in league scoring.

Goalie Coleman Vollrath's 2.40 goals against average is good for second in the league among goalies, with at least 23 games played.

King says the last time a Victoria team won the regular season points race was when the 1980-81 Victoria Cougars accomplished the feat with future Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr. Those Cougars were playoff champions as well, and finished third in the Memorial Cup tournament.

The Royals conclude their regular season Saturday, March 19, against the Everett Silvertips at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena.

With files from All Points West


To hear the full story, click on the audio labelled: Hockey royalty: Victoria Royals earn city its first WHL regular season title in 35 years

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