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The banged-up Victoria Royals hit a wall in Langley on Tuesday when they played game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Vancouver Giants. The Royals crossed the moat missing key players in defenceman Scott Walford, forwards Tanner Kaspick, Dino Kambeitz and Tyler Soy.
The wall they hit was returning Giants’ goaltender David Tendeck, who earned first star honours for his efforts, stopping all but one of 31 shots, fired his way. Some of those shots were point-blank from Matthew Phillips, Dante Hannoun, Jeff de Witt and Noah Gregor. He stoned both Phillips and Hannoun on breakaways.
In the end, the Royals succumbed by the score of 5-1.
Nineteen-year-old Nanaimo product, Owen Hardy opened the scoring at 6:32 of the first period. Former Royals player Jared Dmytriw and Brennan Riddle earned assists on the play.
The Giants went up by two at 19:19 of the second period. Tyler Benson scored the game-winner on the powerplay from Matt Barberis and Milos Roman.
Matthew Phillips thought that he had scored earlier in the period when the puck was passed to him from Noah Gregor, but he was standing in the blue paint and the goal was reviewed and called off as it was determined that it was directed off of his skate into the net.
Roman scored his third of the post-season from Ty Ronning and Riddle at 7:41. The Giants scored two more in the third, bookending the shutout-breaker by Gregor at 12:08. Jared Freadrich and Ralph Jarratt earned assists.
Bowen Byram and James Malm scored the other two goals at 10:54 and 15:16, respectively.
The Royals outshot the Giants 31-26. Outhouse took the loss for the Royals.
The Victoria powerplay went 1/5, while the Giants went 1/4.
Game 4 – Thursday, March 29th – Langley Events Centre – 7:00 p.m. (Televised on Sportsnet)
Game 5 – Saturday, March 31st – Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre – 7:05 p.m.
Game 6 – Monday, April 2nd – Langley Events Centre – 2:00 p.m. (if necessary)
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 3rd – Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre – 7:05 p.m. (if necessary)
EXTRAS: Tyler Soy is close to returning to the Royals line-up. Phillips appeared to be injured in the slot at one point; it was unclear whether he took a shot or a stick. He did return to play the game out.
Bouncing Back – Victoria holds a record of 4-1 in their five previous Game 4’s following a loss in Game 3, which dates back to the 2015 WHL Playoffs. The Royals earned Game 4 victories over the Prince George Cougars (2015), Kelowna Rockets (2015), Spokane Chiefs (2016) and Everett Silvertips (2017) after dropping Game 3.