Michael Herringer made 36 saves, while Justin Kirkland provided the winner in overtime to lift the visiting Kelowna Rockets (30-11-3-0 — 63 points) past the Victoria Royals 2-1 Saturday night.
“I thought it was a hard fought game…” said Victoria’s Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“One bounce here, one bounce there – that was the difference.”
The Royals (26-15-2-3 — 57 points) settled for a split in the two game set after a 4-3 win one night earlier, earning 3 of a possible 4 points.
“We’re disappointed we didn’t get the second point, but you can’t fault the guys effort – they laid it all on the table today.”
Victoria remains 2nd in the West, 1 up on Prince George and 6 back of Kelowna.
The Royals went 0 for 8 on their power plays, while shutting down all 4 Rocket man advantages.
“We had some good looks,” said Lowry about the power play,
“Their goaltender made some good saves, we ripped one off the bar late in the game…we generated some momentum…I can’t be disappointed with the execution.”
Kelowna was missing their leading scorer Tyson Baillie for a second straight night, due to personal reasons (death in the family).
In what turned out to be a battle of the goaltenders, Griffen Outhouse was the second star for Victoria, stopping 29 of 31 shots, in his 6th straight start.
“I just show up to the rink, being prepared to play every game that I can and just make sure I’m ready to go.” said the rookie Outhouse making his 6th straight start.
The overtime goal by Kirkland came just after Victoria killed off a Kelowna power play.
“It just bounced off the defenders leg, an unlucky break.”
Tyler Soy opened the scoring for the Royals, but Dillon Dube tied it in the first, which carried through until overtime. Dube had 7 shots on goal to lead his club.
Soy remains red hot for the Royals, scoring 15 points over his last 11 games (8g-7a).
“It was definitely a pretty intense game,” said Soy,
“Both teams playing with a lot of pace, felt like a fast game, people were hitting, getting a lot of shots – it was a fun game to play.”
Kelowna fired 18 first period shots before Victoria countered in the second with 15 and out shot the visitors 37-31 overall.
Victoria is now 3-2-1-0 in the 8 game season series against Kelowna, the 6th ranked team in the CHL. They’ll meet again January 30th in the interior.
Up next, the Royals entertain the Tigers on Wednesday.
– Marlon Martens
Kelowna Rockets 2 (OT) at Victoria Royals 1 – Status: Final OT
Saturday, January 16, 2016 – Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena – Victoria, BC
Kelowna 1 0 0 1 – 2
Victoria 1 0 0 0 – 1
1, Victoria, Soy 21 (Walker, Bobylev), 7:53.
2, Kelowna, Dube 19 (Kirkland, Foote), 13:08.
Penalties-Hicketts Vic (high sticking), 5:05; Johansen Kel (tripping), 19:34.
Penalties-Stephens Kel (delay of game), 1:41; Kirkland Kel (high sticking), 2:51; Soy Vic (roughing), 3:32; Stadel Kel (hooking), 6:50; Thurkauf Kel (holding), 12:04.
Penalties-Gagnon Vic (tripping), 5:33; Thurkauf Kel (tripping), 7:28; Thurkauf Kel (hooking), 12:12; Merkley Kel (holding), 16:47.
3, Kelowna, Kirkland 15 (Johansen, Gatenby), 3:42.
Penalties-Walker Vic (tripping), 0:59.
Shots on Goal-
Power Play Opportunities-
Kelowna 0 / 4;
Victoria 0 / 8.
Kelowna, Herringer 11-5-1-0 (37 shots-36 saves).
Victoria, Outhouse 8-3-2-1 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jonathan Spurgeon (7), Derek Zalaski (8).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Jeff MacAdams.