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Victoria Royals forward Brayden Schuurman collected two points on a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Everett Silvertips in the final game of the 2022-2023 regular season at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday.
While Victoria won’t be making a trip to the postseason this year, the team finished the season strong, picking up five points with two wins and a shootout loss over their final three games of the season.
Royals General Manager and Head Coach Dan Price believes the effort and passion showed by his club over the past few weeks will help build momentum into next year:
“We’ve talked a lot about building winning habits and a winning process,” said Price. “It’s been such a remarkable season with all the storylines…It was a great journey for a lot of the young players, a real maturing process, and you can see what the team is and probably would have been with a full lineup. You can see what it’s becoming with this ‘04 and ‘05 age group, led by some great ‘03’s as well…This process has been very important and we know it’s going to pay dividends this coming season.”
Forward Teague Patton also counted his second straight multi-point performance on Saturday with a pair of assists, while goaltender Braden Holt made 23 saves on 26 shots.
The Royals also recognized their three graduating 20-year-old forwards – forwards Alex Thacker, Jake Poole and Riley Gannon – who saw their junior hockey careers come to an end on Saturday.
Meanwhile, forward Jackson Berezowski finished as the top-scorer for Everett in the win with two points on a goal and an assist, while starting netminder Tyler Palmer made 30 saves on 33 total shots faced.
Victoria (17-43-6-2) would count the only goal of the opening frame, coming at the 17:48 mark off the stick of forward Tanner Scott (14) to put the home side up 1-0 headed into the second.
Forward Teague Patton would collect an assist on the play.
Everett (33-32-2-1) would even the score at 1-1 with a goal by forward Carter Bear (1) at the 1:19 mark of the second. It was the first career WHL goal for the 16-year-old out of West St. Paul, MB, coming in his 18th career game.
The Silvertips would then take a 2-1 lead on a short-handed goal by forward Jackson Berezowski (48) at 5:04 of the second.
However, the Royals would answer back with a game-tying goal by forward Brayden Schuurman (17) at the 19:59 mark to bring the score to 2-2 entering the third period.
Forwards Alex Thacker and Reggie Newman would collect assists on the play.
Everett’s lead would hold until the 18:52 mark of the second, when Victoria forward Matthew Hodson (17) would score to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime, assisted by forwards Teague Patton and Brayden Schuurman.
Neither the Royals or Silvertips could net the winning goal in the extra frame and the game would head to a shootout, where forward Raphael Pelletier would score the only goal to lead Everett to a 4-3 victory.
The Royals will now look ahead to the upcoming 2023-2024 season this fall.