Ryan Gropp scored a hat trick, while Mathew Barzal earned 2 assists as the visiting Seattle Thunderbirds defeated the Victoria Royals 3-1 Tuesday.
“They capitalized on their opportunities, it’s a 2-1 game with an empty net goal…” said Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“Our guys, if we’re a little bit better – we probably win a hockey game.”
The loss snapped the Royals 4 game win streak, while the T-Birds got back in the win column and have not lost in regulation over their last 9 (8-0-0-1).
Gropp, a New York Ranger draft pick opened the scoring converting on a cross ice feed, before Dante Hannoun tied the game on the power play with just 1:26 left in the first.
Gropp would strike again with just :18 seconds left in the opening frame for the eventual winner, before adding the insurance marker into an empty net with a minute left in the third.
The line of Gropp, Barzal and Kegan Kolesar combined for 6 points.
“They were good…” said Lowry on Seattle’s top line,
“…but they weren’t really challenged.” He added.
Griffen Outhouse made 29 saves for 3rd star honours in the loss, while Matt Berlin stopped 16 of 17 in the win.
The Royals were 1 for 4 on the power play, while the T-Birds went 0 for 3.
“We could probably raise our compete level, probably play a bit harder, battle…” said Lowry on the physical side of the game,
“We’ll be a different team (Wednesday).”
Seattle leads the season series 3-0 and will meet again Wednesday night in Victoria.
– Marlon Martens
Seattle Thunderbirds 3 at Victoria Royals 1 – Status: Final
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 – Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena – Victoria, BC
Seattle 2 0 1 – 3
Victoria 1 0 0 – 1
1, Seattle, Gropp 16 (Kolesar, Barzal), 9:00.
2, Victoria, Hannoun 19 (Phillips, Soy), 18:36 (PP).
3, Seattle, Gropp 17 (Bear, Barzal), 19:42.
Penalties-Gropp Sea (holding), 17:31.
No Scoring.Penalties-Bishop Sea (tripping), 2:38; Gagnon Vic (holding opp. stick), 14:04.
4, Seattle, Gropp 18 (Neuls, Strand), 18:59 (EN).
Penalties-Kolesar Sea (boarding, major-fighting), 6:57; Gagnon Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 6:57; Folk Vic (delay of game), 8:01; Bear Sea (interference), 8:15; Ottenbreit Sea (tripping), 8:49; Gerth Vic (tripping), 14:38; Barzal Sea (roughing), 18:28; Phillips Vic (roughing), 18:28.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Seattle 0 / 3;
Victoria 1 / 4.
Seattle, Berlin 5-0-2-0 (18 shots-17 saves).
Victoria, Outhouse 29-17-3-0 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Ryan Benbow (62), Mike Langin (67).
Linesmen-Liam Reid (112), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).