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Dante Hannoun scored a hat trick and Jack Walker had a 3 point night as the visiting Victoria Royals beat the Vancouver Giants 5-1 Friday night.

“It was nice to get it under my belt,” said Hannoun on his first WHL trick,

“I’ve got to give credit to the guys that made some nice plays to me and I just tapped it in.”

The Royals won their 7th in a row, and with points in 8 straight take a 3 point lead over the Rockets for top spot in the WHL.

Rookie Ryan Peckford, celebrating his 17th birthday scored his 8th of the year for the eventual game winner.

“It was really nice, I had a couple people in the stands watching so it was really exciting to bury one.” Said Peckford on his birthday goal, making it 2-1 in the first.

Royals Jack Walker opened the scoring with his 30th, just :59 seconds into the first, and added two assists.  It was the third time in the last four games the club struck in the opening minute.

“That’s definitely part of our game plan,” said Walker,

“We just need to come out of the gates flying, that’s what we’ve been doing and things have been going our way.”

Trevor Cox tied the game on the power play for the Giants only goal of the game.

“I liked our start, and the way that after we gave up that goal to tie it – we stayed with our game,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,

“We played simple, created opportunities and had some timely goals.”

Delta native Hannoun, added a pair in the second, and one in the third for the natural trick and now has 26 goals this season.

“He generates and creates with his speed, he’s an intelligent player…” said Lowry on Hannoun,

“The one thing I like is he wants to score.”

Leading 4-1 after 40, Victoria out shot the Giants 14-2, and 32-17 overall.

“We didn’t turn it over, we knew that there was going to be a push and we had a choice. Either make it easy on yourself, play the game the right way and manage the neutral zone and we did that.” Said Lowry

Griffen Outhouse, the WHL Goaltender of the month for February earned the win, while Jake Morrissey took the loss.

The Royals were 1 for 7 on the power play, while Giants went 1 for 5.

Alex Forsberg set the Royals regular season scoring record with his assist, passing Austin Carroll’s 77 points last year.

Vladimir Bobylev picked up a pair of helpers, facing his former club.

Victoria now leads the season series 6 games to 3, winning their last 4 straight.

The club now has 22 road wins, the most in the league.

On the Royals first goal, the club set the franchise record for most markers in a season with 245.

Victoria also swept their 4 game road trip, after wins in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.

The two clubs meet for a 10th and final time Saturday night on the Island at 7pm.

“We know that they’re going to come, they’re going to have a push.  We have to make sure our preparation gives us a chance to win.” said Lowry.

– Marlon Martens

Victoria Royals 5 at Vancouver Giants 1 – Status: Final
Friday, March 4, 2016 – Pacific Coliseum – Vancouver, BC

Victoria 2 2 1 – 5
Vancouver 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-

1, Victoria, Walker 30 (Reddekopp, Soy), 0:59.

2, Vancouver, Cox 16 (Menell, Bondra), 2:00 (PP).

3, Victoria, Peckford 8 (Bobylev, Forsberg), 6:23.

Penalties-Gagnon Vic (boarding), 1:35; Menell Van (hooking), 17:36.

2nd Period-

4, Victoria, Hannoun 24 (Walker, Price), 7:14 (PP).

5, Victoria, Hannoun 25 (Bobylev, Walford), 16:32.

Penalties-Hicketts Vic (tripping), 1:00; Dhaliwal Van (tripping), 5:34; Crunk Van (roughing), 7:14; Forsberg Vic (cross checking), 9:01; Gagnon Vic (high sticking), 12:37; Gagnon Vic (high sticking), 14:37; Menell Van (tripping), 16:23.

3rd Period-

6, Victoria, Hannoun 26 (Walker), 14:03.

Penalties-Jones Van (tripping), 5:07; Plouffe Van (hooking), 10:24; Cox Van (hooking), 14:39.

Shots on Goal-

Victoria 8-10-14-32.

Vancouver 7-8-2-17.
Power Play Opportunities-

Victoria 1 / 7;

Vancouver 1 / 5.
Goalies-Victoria, Outhouse 15-3-3-1 (17 shots-16 saves). Vancouver, Morrissey 1-6-0-0 (32 shots-27 saves).
A-5,440
Referees-Steve Papp (17), Nick Swaine (35).
Linesmen-Michael Bean (148), Scott Mackey (42).

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