Ryan Gagnon in his Royale blues.

Ryan Gagnon in his Royale blues.

One of the Royales

Gagnon and the Royales are going as far as they’ve ever been.

Two years after making the jump from the Cariboo Cougars to the WHL’s Victoria Royals, Ryan Gagnon and the Royals will be going the furthest in the post season he and the team have been – it’s on to the second round of playoffs.

“We started the season off slow this year, but started to gel at just the right time,” Gagnon said.

That timing helped them storm past the Spokane Chiefs in four straight games in the first, best of seven, series of the playoffs.

Like his team, it’s been a banner year for Gagnon; the defence man has posted two goals this year, along with six assists, doubling his assists and posting his first goals in his WHL career.

“It’s been a good season,” Gagnon said.

“I’ve played in most of the games and learned a lot.”

Gagnon has been busy learning both on and off the ice, managing to excel in school – he won the scholastic player of the year award for Victoria.

Now, though, school’s over and he can focus on playoff hockey and taking on the Portland Winterhawks, who promise to be a challenge for the Royals and for Gagnon on defense.

“Portlan’s a really good team with a strong offense,” he said.

“But we’re a fairly defensive team.”

His family also hopes to make the trip down to see Gagnon in action, which will be a treat for both him and his family, as they don’t get to see each other often during the busy hockey season.

With a second season under his belt, and a corresponding improvement, Gagnon is hoping to continue his career and maintain his upward momentum through his WHL career and hopefully beyond.

And while he does that, his family and friends in the Cariboo will continue cheering for him and hoping for the best.