The Victoria Royals (50-16-3-3, 106pts) wrapped up the regular season on a high note, defeating the visiting Everett Silvertips 4-1 Friday night, to win their franchise best 50th of the season.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for our group,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“It’s been a remarkable group to be a part of…the best part is they play for each other.”
The Royals, crowned the WHL regular season champions with 106 points, also won their franchise best 13th in a row.
“To be rewarded with that…it’s an honour.” Said Captain Joe Hicketts who shook league commissioner Ron Robison’s hand in a pre game ceremony, in which the club was awarded the Scotty Munro Trophy,
“It’s been a fun ride, but we know it’s just getting started here.”
Victoria will kick off the post season Friday and Saturday night at home against Spokane.
Friday, the Royals led 2-0 after 20, and 4-1 after 40 minutes, and ultimately took the victory, and the season series 4-0.
Victoria’s Tyler Soy scored twice, while linemates Vladimir Bobylev had a goal and an assist and Jack Walker a pair of helpers, to combine for 6 points. The trio had 8 one night earlier.
The Royals power play went 2 for 5, as they held the tips to 0 for 2.
Victoria outshot their opposition for a 19th straight game (17-1-1-0), 27-20 with rookie netminder Griffen Outhouse earning the win in back to back starts.
“I think he’s had a very good year, and I want both our guys sharp and ready to go.” Said Lowry.
Outhouse finished the season with the best save percentage and goals against average in the WHL at 0.937 and 1.82 respectively.
Mario Petit in his 4 straight start took the loss, as Everett dropped their final two heading into the post season to face Portland.
The Silvertips came out hard in the first, but Outhouse helped weather the storm, and the Royals responded with a pair of first period goals by Bobyelv, then Matthew Phillips on the power play.
Victoria added to the lead in the middle frame with Soy finishing off a pretty passing play from Walker and Bobylev to make it 3-0.
Everett defenseman Cole MacDonald fired home the clubs lone goal to cut into the lead 3-1.
Soy responded on the power play after a great feed by Joe Hicketts to retake the three goal lead, 4-1 heading into the final frame where neither team scored. Soy hit the post twice, and was denied the hat trick, but wrapped up the regular season setting the Royals record in goals with 46.
“It definitely feels good to contribute in that sense of the game,” said Soy who’s 3rd in overall goals,
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my linemates…without them I wouldn’t be able to put as many goals on the scoresheet.”
Phillips won the WHL rookie scoring race with 76 points, and also lead all freshmen in goals with 37.
“It feels pretty good, I don’t think I could’ve envisioned this at the start of the season,” said Phillips.
“I guess the points are nice, but to see what we did at the end of the season getting 50 wins was pretty amazing.”
Joe Hicketts and Alex Forsberg chipped in a pair of assists each.
Forsberg set the Royals record for most assists (60), and points (91) in a season.
Victoria won their franchise best 26th at home, while extending the franchise best home win streak to 13 games.
The Royals were 2-2 against the Chiefs this season, but haven’t squared off since October.
The clubs annual award Ceremony goes Sunday afternoon at 3pm.
- Marlon Martens
Everett Silvertips 1 at Victoria Royals 4 – Status: Final
Saturday, March 19, 2016 – Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena – Victoria, BC
Everett 0 1 0 – 1
Victoria 2 2 0 – 4
1, Victoria, Bobylev 28 (Gagnon, Walker), 8:28.
2, Victoria, Phillips 37 (Forsberg, Hicketts), 11:50 (PP).
Penalties-MacDonald Evt (kneeing), 11:28.
3, Victoria, Soy 45 (Walker, Bobylev), 5:11.
4, Everett, MacDonald 9 (Skoleski, Martin), 6:32.
5, Victoria, Soy 46 (Hicketts, Forsberg), 15:26 (PP).
Penalties-MacDonald Evt (hooking), 15:01; Stadnyk Evt (interference), 19:46.
No Scoring.Penalties-Hicketts Vic (roughing), 5:03; Soy Vic (delay of game), 6:40; Dewar Evt (tripping), 11:07; Skrumeda Evt (charging), 16:58.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Everett 0 / 2;
Victoria 2 / 5.
Everett, Petit 3-3-4-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Victoria, Outhouse 18-3-3-1 (20 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Adam Griffiths (36), Sean Raphael (28).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).