Victoria Royals take to the ice at CFB Esquimalt’s arena

Photo by Will Chaster, Base Public Affairs Office

Photo by Will Chaster, Base Public Affairs Office

Will Chaster, Base Public Affairs Office ~

CFB Esquimalt had some special guests on Thursday, Sept. 7, when members from the Victoria Royals hockey team spent two hours practicing at Wurtele Arena.

From 9:45 to 11:45 a.m., the Royals performed a series of fast-paced drills under the watchful eyes of the coaching staff.

While there are a number of new players on the roster, there are also several new faces behind the bench. These include Head Coach Dan Price, Assistant Coach J.F. Best, and Consulting Coach Dwayne Roloson, a retired goaltender who played over 600 games in the National Hockey League.

All three are beginning their first year in their respective positions with the Royals.

Although not frequent visitors to the base, the Royals have been known to hold practices at the arena in special circumstances.

“The Royals have practiced at Wurtele Arena a number of times over the years, usually when there’s a concert or some other event that prohibits them from practicing at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre,” said Kevin Zalba, Wurtele Arena and Sports Facilities Manager. 

With the pre-season winding down, these practices are important in helping the Royals finalize their opening night roster.

While Coach Price is eager to get started with the regular season, he took a moment after the practice to reflect on what it is like to play here on Vancouver Island.

“I know we’re all very excited for the opportunity to be here and we’re grateful to be able to play in a city like Victoria,” said Price.

This will not be the only time the Royals will be at Wurtele Arena. With other events taking place at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre later in the year, the Royals will be back on base Nov. 13, Jan. 22, and March 13 and 14 for more practices.

“We like to accommodate them given the chance; it’s great to have them here,” said Zalba.

The Royals will be also partner with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for two further events in the coming months.

On Nov. 10, the team will host their annual CAF Appreciation Night with discounted tickets for CAF and DND members.

They are also working with CFB Esquimalt personnel to play in a scrimmage with hockey playing members of Maritime Forces Pacific sometime after Remembrance Day with proceeds going to the annual workplace charity drive.

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