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Patrik Polivka makes 26 saves to lead Royals to 4-1 win over Thunderbirds

NHL.com @NHL

VICTORIA - Patrik Polivka made 26 saves as the Victoria Royals beat the Seattle Thunderbirds 4-1 in Western Hockey League action Tuesday night.

Jamie Crooks, Alex Gogolev, Steven Hodges and Joe Hicketts scored for the Royals (29-19-4) while Shea Theodore had the only goal for the Thunderbirds (19-30-5).

The Royals opened the scoring when Crooks picked up a loose puck after a faceoff and snapped it past Thunderbirds goalie Brandon Glover.

Gogolev made it 2-0 with less than a minute left in the first, scoring from a perfect goalmouth feed from linemate Brandon Magee.

Thunderbirds defenceman Theodore made it 2-1 early in the second on the power play, blasting a rocket from the point that beat Polivka cleanly over his shoulder.

Victoria restored the two-goal lead on a two-on-one. Glover kicked out the initial from Hodges' shot but it went in off a defender's skate.

Hicketts added an empty-netter in the final minute of the third.

Polivka made a number of key saves throughout the game, stopping all nine shots in the third period for the win.

Glover saved 20-of-24 shots for Seattle.

Gogolev left the game early in the third period with a lacerated left foot.

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