The Victoria Royals struck for 5 power play goals en route to a 6-4 road victory over the Vancouver Giants in Langley Friday night.
“The biggest difference in the game was that our best players played at a level that we’re going to need them to play at…” said Royals Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“…as was the case with the power play, I don’t think we had good enough contributions from a lot of guys…we’ll leave here knowing that we have to be better and we can probably expect to see a better team (Saturday).”
Victoria (33-23-4-1, 71pts) has now won 5 in a row against Vancouver (19-37-2-3, 43pts), and 6 of 7 in the season series. The Royals had swept the previous triple header, which continues in Victoria Saturday for Pink in the Rink night, and Sunday evening – both 7 pm starts.
“(Saturday) is a critical game, we know you’re not going to score 5 power goals every night so we’re going to have to find different ways to generate offense.” quipped Lowry.
The Royals won their second in a row overall, and remain in the first Wild Card spot, 3 points up on the Winterhawks, and 6 back of the 3rd place Rockets.
Second year defenseman, Scott Walford had a 4 point night with a goal and 3 assists, and now has 7 points in his last two games. Walford tied the franchise mark for most points by a rearguard in a single game with 4 joining the likes of Chaz Reddekopp (2014-15), Joe Hicketts (2014-15), Travis Brown (2013-14 & 2014-15) and Brandon Manning (2009-10 & 2010-11).
“He’s a pretty smart kid, he takes advantage of the opportunities given to him…” said Lowry with Walford stepping up to try and fill the void left by the injured Chaz Reddekopp.
Four Victoria players had 3 point nights. Toronto Maple Leaf 6th round pick Jack Walker notched 2 goals and an assist, while a trio of Royals had a goal and two assists, Matthew Phillips, Dante Hannoun and Vladimir Bobylev. Regan Nagy added a pair of helpers.
Bobylev (6th) the Maple Leaf’s 5th rounder, gave the Royals a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes with their first of 5 power goals on 6 chances. The 5 goals ties the franchise record for most goals on the man-advantage in a single game. The previous record was set back on October 2, 2010 when the Chilliwack Bruins went 5/13 against the Kamloops Blazers.
New York Ranger draft pick Ty Ronning (23rd) drew the home team even at 1-1 in the second before Walker (26th, 27th) struck with a pair of power play goals to give Victoria their first two goal lead of the game.
Vancouver got to within one in the final minute of the middle frame by Matt Barberis to cut the lead to 3-2 heading into the third.
“You hate giving up goals in the last minute…we made too many mistakes in the defensive zone…especially on the goal that got them to within one…” commented Lowry,
“At this time of the year, you really have to dial in your game and be sharp on your assignments, and tonight, once again – we got away with it…we talked after the game, there’s areas we we’re going to have to better, and moving forward – we better learn.”
Matthew Phillips notched his 43rd of the campaign and restored the 2 goal cushion in the opening minute of the final frame on a great feed from Bobylev, but again the Giants countered as Johnny Wesley struck with the man advantage.
The Royals would again strike again for a pair of back to back power play goals by Dante Hannoun (20th) and Scott Walford (6th) to pull away and double the Giants 6-3. Calvin Spencer rounded out the scoring.
Victoria out shot Vancouver 47-27, with Griffen Outhouse earning his 31st win of the year, and Ryan Kubic kicking out 41 in loss. Outhouse is one win away from tying the franchise record for wins in a season held by Coleman Vollrath at 32.
The Royals were without the injured Tyler Soy (week to week), Ryan Peckford (5-6 weeks), and defenseman Chaz Reddekopp (5-6 weeks).
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 6 at Vancouver Giants 4 – Status: Final
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Langley Events Centre – Langley, BC
Victoria 1 2 3 – 6
Vancouver 0 2 2 – 4
1, Victoria, Bobylev 6 (Hannoun, Phillips), 7:25 (PP).
Penalties-Borstmayer Van (holding), 7:02; Semchuk Van (high sticking), 11:45; Phillips Vic (kneeing), 16:27.
2, Vancouver, Ronning 23 (Malm, Wesley), 10:07.
3, Victoria, Walker 26 (Walford, Nagy), 12:39 (PP).
4, Victoria, Walker 27 (Hannoun, Walford), 17:55 (PP).
5, Vancouver, Barberis 9 (Rattie, Watts), 19:10.
Penalties-Bobylev Vic (hooking), 1:23; Dmytriw Vic (tripping), 2:39; Barberis Van (slashing), 11:09; Jones Van (holding), 16:29.
6, Victoria, Phillips 43 (Bobylev, Nagy), 0:39.
7, Vancouver, Wesley 9 (Malm), 9:10 (PP).
8, Victoria, Hannoun 20 (Phillips, Walford), 12:36 (PP).
9, Victoria, Walford 6 (Bobylev, Walker), 16:04 (PP).
10, Vancouver, Spencer 13 (Watts), 18:08.
Penalties-Price Vic (high sticking), 8:58; Wesley Van (high sticking), 11:51; Rattie Van (roughing, 10-minute misconduct), 14:45.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 5 / 6;
Vancouver 1 / 4.
Victoria, Outhouse 31-20-3-1 (27 shots-23 saves).
Vancouver, Kubic 15-28-2-3 (47 shots-41 saves).
Referees-Sean Raphael (28), Steve Papp (17).
Linesmen-Spencer Lockert (84), Michael McGowan (41).