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Tyler Soy scored twice, while Joe Hicketts and Vladimir Bobylev had 3 points each to lead the Victoria Royals past the visiting Spokane Chiefs 5-3 Friday and take game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs.

“We knew it was going to be a hard fought game, and that’s exactly what they brought.” said Soy,

“It was very muck and grind style of game…there’s a lot of physical play…”

Victoria held period leads of 1-0 and 2-1, however tied at 2 in the third, the Royals scored three straight to pull away.

“It’s playoff hockey, I think that’s what we expected,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry, on the physical affair, with punishing hits thrown by both clubs throughout the entire contest.

“We expected a hard fought game, they’re going to be heavy and hard and they’re going to go right to the end.”

It was a much more closely contested affair, than the 31 point swing in the standings would indicate.

“We talked all that playoff hockey changes, there’s a price to pay, you have to fight for your space and every check gets finished.” According to Lowry,

“The teams that do it consistently are the ones that find themselves on the right side.”

Ryan Gagnon was given a charging major and a game misconduct, and with Regan Nagy in the box for a roughing call, the Chiefs had a 5 on 3 for 3:19 in the final few minutes of the second.

The Royals penalty killing efforts brought the fans to their feet, closing out the middle frame.

“I thought we did a good job of getting through that 5 on 3,” said Lowry,

“Guys were paying the price, sacrificing and getting in lanes, and that’s what you have to do at this time of year. It has to hurt to win and think tonight was indicative of that.”

However, Spokane’s Hudson Elynuik struck on the remaining seconds of the power play early in the third to tie the game at 2.

The Royals outshot the Chiefs 31-27 with Coleman Vollrath earning the win, and Lasse Petersen taking the loss.

Both clubs struck once with the man advantage, Victoria was 1 for 3, Spokane 1 for 5.

Tyler Soy scored a highlight reel goal to open the scoring, going through Evan Fiala down the right wing, then kicked the puck to his stick while cutting to the front of the net, and lifted it over the glove of Peteresen.

Keanu Yamamoto had a goal and an assist, and tied the game at one in the middle frame.

Joe Hicketts blast from the point gave the home side the 2-1 lead going into the 3rd period.

Logan Fisher tipped a Hicketts point drive to give Victoria their first 2 goal lead, 3-2. Dante Hannoun ripped home the eventual winner with the man advantage after a great cross ice feed by Hicketts for a 4-2 lead.

Soy added his second of the night into an empty net with 2:30 to go in the third.

Hayden Ostir gave the Chiefs their 3rd goal with under a minute to go in the game.

Bobylev had 3 assists, while Hicketts a goal and two helpers.

Game 2 goes in Victoria Saturday night, with puck drop at 7:05.

– Marlon Martens

3 Stars:

  1. VIC – 2 Joe Hicketts
    2. SPO – 9 Keanu Yamamoto
    3. VIC – 23 Vladimir Bobylev

Attendance: 6211
Spokane Chiefs 3 at Victoria Royals 5 – Status: Final
Friday, March 25, 2016 – Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena – Victoria, BC

Spokane 0 1 2 – 3
Victoria 1 1 3 – 5

1st Period-

1, Victoria, Soy 1 (Bobylev, Gagnon), 14:51.

Penalties-Gagnon Vic (boarding), 7:47; Helgesen Spo (tripping), 9:12; Walford Vic (interference), 12:29.

2nd Period-

2, Spokane, Ke. Yamamoto 1 (McIndoe), 5:24.

3, Victoria, Hicketts 1 (Bobylev, Walker), 9:16.

Penalties-Gagnon Vic (major-charging, game misconduct), 16:02; Nagy Vic (roughing), 17:43.

3rd Period-

4, Spokane, Elynuik 1 (Ke. Yamamoto, Fram), 0:44 (PP).

5, Victoria, Fisher 1 (Hicketts, Dmytriw), 5:58.

6, Victoria, Hannoun 1 (Hicketts, Walford), 11:59 (PP).

7, Victoria, Soy 2 (Bobylev, Price), 17:30 (EN).

8, Spokane, Ostir 1 (Henderson, Miske), 19:07.

Penalties-Fiala Spo (high sticking, high sticking), 9:12; Elynuik Spo (slashing), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-

Spokane 8-6-13-27.

Victoria 7-10-14-31.
Power Play Opportunities-

Spokane 1 / 5;

Victoria 1 / 3.
Goalies-

Spokane, Petersen 0-1-0-0 (30 shots-26 saves).

Victoria, Vollrath 1-0-0-0 (27 shots-24 saves).
A-6,211
Referees-Kevin Bennett (29), Mike Campbell (89).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).

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