A duo of Okanagan Hockey Academy alums put on a show at the 2014 Victoria Royals Intrasquad Game on Wednesday night.
Tyler Soy, 17, and Matthew Campese, 16, both notched a hat-trick as Campese’s Team White took the game 6-5.
Also playing in the game, was current OHA defenceman Scott Walford, who was the 18th overall pick in the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft, as well as 2011-12 OHA alum, Joe Hicketts, who is entering his third season with the Royals.
It was a big game for everyone playing, especially me as I wanted to make an impression out there,” Campese told local media after the game. “The boys played hard and we got the win, so I couldn’t be happier.”
Campese, who led the OHA Prep team in scoring during the 2013-14 season with 88 points (46-42-88) in just 37 games, opened the scoring just 10-seconds into the game, added another one in the middle stanza, before completing his hat-trick with a breakaway goal in the third period that proved to be the winner.
The 5-foot-10 forward has gotten his feet wet with the Royals each of the last two seasons, appearing in one game during both the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Now the third round pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft is looking to stick with the team on a full-time basis.
“I just need to work hard, compete and keep playing,” said Campese. “Whatever happens, happens. I am not trying to match myself up against other players, I just want to play my game and see where it happens.”
Soy, a former teammate of Campese at OHA during the 2012-13 season, is coming off a stellar rookie season with the Royals and just recently captured the gold medal for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. After taking some time off to rest, he feels his game is at a level he wants it to be at.
“I feel a lot better,” said Soy. “I took some time off when I came back and the first couple games were a bit rough but I feel better and better as it goes along. I hope this carries on as we roll into the pre-season.”
The Cloverdale, BC product also scored once every period, banging home a rebound in the third period to complete his hat-trick. The eighth overall pick in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft doesn’t mind getting right back into the thick of things after a shortened off-season.
“I’m happy to keep playing,” said Soy. “It’s always good to get out there with the guys. I don’t like taking too much time off because it’s always harder to come back, so it’s nice to keep going and get the legs moving.”
In total, three of the last four first-round selections the Royals have made at the WHL Bantam Draft have played for OHA.
Quotes, photos from Marlon Martens, play-by-play voice of the Victoria Royals.
Choosing Okanagan Hockey Academy was one of the best decisions I have made for my development. The relationships I built with my teammates, coaches, and staff are bonds that will last a lifetime. The structure of the program on and off the ice prepared me to play junior hockey.