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Matthew Phillips. File Photo. Credit: Christopher Kelsall

© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News

It was the Matthew Phillips and Griffen Outhouse show Tuesday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre as they led the Royals to a 6-2 win over the Kelowna Rockets. It seemed that each time Phillips got a point or made a play, Outhouse was called upon to perform acrobatics, including a spectacular diving stop late in the game.

The Royals came back from a lackluster performance Sunday to defeat the Kelowna Rockets 6-2. The teams split the Sunday-Tuesday set with the Rockets winning the first game 5-1.

The Royals played the second game in a row without the services of their leading point-getter Tyler Soy on Tuesday night. He is out with an apparent shoulder or upper arm issue.

Sunday night the Royals had a let-down game after defeating the Regina Pats Saturday. It was an emotional affair that saw the Royals defeat the number one team in Canada, who until Saturday were the only team in the Canadian Hockey League to have not lost in regulation time this season. Royals won that game 4-3.

“Tonight, I think we played a hard-fought game,” said Dave Lowry when asked about the apparent slow start. “I like the way our guys played. We took a few penalties I didn’t like, but it was a better effort.”

Regan Nagy opened the scoring at 9:20 on a goal assisted by Carter Folk and Kaid Oliver. Eighteen seconds later the Rockets came back the other way and with Outhouse challenging Tomas Soustal in the slot, he left the his blocker side open. Soustal shot, Kohl Lind buried the rebounding puck at 10:18 from the side of the net. Score tied 1-1.

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Griffen Outhouse. File photo. Credit: Christopher Kelsall

The two teams played a tight-checking second half of the period. Shots were even at 10-10.

To start the second period the two teams exchanged powerplay opportunities, while the Rockets failed to establish good possession time in the Royals end, the Royals did so on their man advantage. They set up in the Rockets’ end and were executing passes that created several opportunities. Phillips and Walker paired up with Ralph Jarratt on a slick play, where Walker scored his team-leading (tied) 13 goal of the season.

Mid-way through the second period, the game opened up with both teams getting opportunities on the rush. Devante Stephens scored his fifth of the season from Ted Brennan and Leif Mattson. On the play, Brennan spotted Stephens skating full-speed into the slot and he let fly a one-timer than found the back of the net at 8:27.

At 10:26 goaltender Michael Herringer watched Matthew Phillips dazzle a few defenders and his attempt to slip behind the net for the wrap around. Having seen enough he tripped Phillips, taking a two-minute holding penalty.
On the next shift, Phillips was sandwiched between two Rockets players away from the play. No penalty was called, he crawled off the ice.

Gordie Ballhorn challenged Jack Walker to a fight and the two went at it, Walker was outweighed by 14 pounds, he stood his ground, but lost the fight. It was a good effort. Ballhorn got an instigator and a 10-minute misconduct, both players received five for fighting.

On the ensuing Royals’ powerplay, Reddekopp fed Phillips the puck at the side of the net, who weaved his goal-side magic and slipped a seeing-eye pass through the crease that saw the puck deflect off of a Rocket defender. At first Peckford was awarded his seventh goal of the season, but upon review, it was given to Phillips for his team-leading 14th goal. It was Phillips second point on the night. Walford got the second assist.

At the end of two periods the shots were 24-23 Rockets. More importantly the Royals were up 3-2.

For the third period, both teams stepped up the effort substantially. Several crushing hits were dished by both teams.
At 7:09 into the third, Peckford got his seventh by back-handing a shot behind himself into the net, from the slot area as he wrestled with a Rockets defenseman; it left Herringer spread-eagle in the crease.

Phillips earned his third point on the goal with the second assist. Erik Florchuck also received an assist on the play.
At 11:10, while on the powerplay again, the Royals were dominating. Phillips received the puck at the side of the net three times. On the third try he took a step towards Herringer and slipped the puck into the five hole.

Not to be outdone, Outhouse the other way, made not only the save of the game, but the play of the game with a spectacular diving glove-hand save off his blocker side – it was otherwise a sure goal.

Mitchell Prowse earned his first goal of his career on the powerplay with half of a second remaining. From the left point he directed a shot at the net that Herringer seemed handcuffed on. Assists went to Marsel Ibragimov and Ryan Peckford.

The Royals went 4/7 on the powerplay, while the Rockets went 0/7. Shots were 37-33 Rockets.

Phillips earned two goals and two assists on the night including scoring the game winner. He earned first star honours for his efforts. Reddekopp and Scott Walford earned two assists, while Peckford had a goal and an assist.

The Royals head for the road to play against the Portland Winterhawks on Friday, the 25th and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday the 26th. They return to Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre Wednesday , November 30th to host the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Earlier in the day the Royals acquired some much-needed toughness from the Everett Silvertips for 1998-born forward Spencer Gerth in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.

The Langley, BC native is currently in his second season in the WHL, and has recorded two goals and four minutes in penalties in 14 games played. Last season, Gerth competed in 52 games and registered an assist along with 40 penalty minutes.

The 6-2, 200 lb forward skated for the Golden Rockets of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) during the 2014-15 season and collected 22 points (8g-14a) in 52 games along with 69 minutes in penalties. In that year’s post season he scored one goal in five contests. Prior to this, Gerth played the 2013-14 season in the BC Hockey Major Midget League (BCMML) with the Valley West Hawks where he scored three goals and added nine assists in 40 games.

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