Game 5 between the Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals was a tale of three periods. In the end, a two-minute and 28-second stretch during the second period decided the game. Victoria lost 5-3, despite a royal effort to make a comeback.
“You got to play a full 60 minutes,” said LA Kings-signed defenceman Chaz Reddekopp. “Especially in the playoffs, if you don’t play a full 60 minutes, the other team is going to take advantage of it and I think they deserved to win tonight. They pushed, we took the foot off the gas during the second period and that cost us the game.”
The Royals scratched key players Scott Walford, Tanner Kaspick, Dino Kambeitz and Tyler Soy. Thursday, Soy had finally returned to the lineup, scored a hat-trick in Langley to lead the Royals to a 7-3 win and then was injured again.
The first period saw a tightly played match, with limited clear-cut opportunities for either team; however, the Royals were clearly the better side.
The Giants opened the scoring at 9:41 with a Davis Koch marker that came against the flow. Assists were credited to Tyler Benson and Dawson Holt. The period ended 1-0, despite the Royals getting four consecutive powerplay opportunities. Hot in game four; the powerplay was cold as ice on Saturday.
During a two-minute and 28-second span in the second, the Giants buried three goals behind Griffen Outhouse to go up by the score of 4-0. Bowen Byram scored back-to-back goals, while former Royals player Jared Dmytriw scored at 9:56 to cap-off the flurry. The goals all came on heavy screens.
Matthew Phillips and Dante Hannoun took matters into their own hands. They scored with Phillips breaking around a Giants’ defenceman, putting the puck in on the far side of a sprawling Tendeck, which brought the near-sellout (6,792) crowd to their feet.
Hannoun sent a flat cross-ice pass to a streaking Phillips at the blueline; he was in full flight.
The goal at 11:41 appeared to mark a momentum shift, where the Royals seemed to wake up and nearly convert on a few good scoring opportunities.
Phillips set up two spectacular goals during the third period, one with a cross-slot pass to a flying Noah Gregor, it was a seeing-eye pass that would have threaded a microscopic black hole in space. He did it again from beside the Giants net while on the powerplay, this time to Dante Hannoun, the pass was converted so fast, Tendeck had no chance on the play.
Dmytriw took a delay of game penalty with 4:29 left on the clock by lifting the puck over the net in his own – typically a backbreaking penalty. The Royals were swarming the Giants’ end, but to no avail.
With Outhouse pulled in favour of the extra attacker and the Royals in a panic to move up the ice, they gave the puck up three times, narrowly avoiding an empty-net goal against.
The game would end 5-3 for the Giants.
“No one is surprised that the series has gone six games, it is a tightly-played series, it’s an even series. Obviously, we are at a must-win situation now,” said Phillips.
In regards to the powerplay he said, “we were not sharp and that section of the second period cost us the game. We came pretty close, it was a good third period.”
The teams will reconvene in Langley for game 6 on Monday, April 2nd and if they win, will return to Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre for a 7:05 puck drop Tuesday, April 3rd.
The Royals went 1/6 on the man advantage, while the Giants were 0/1.
The Royals outshot the Giants 28-22.
EXTRAS: Ralph Jarratt left the game early in the second period as he took a heavy slash on the arm from Matt Barberis, who was penalized for two minutes for slashing.