© Copyright – 2019 – Victoria Sports News

Tanner Sidaway. Photo credit; Christopher Kelsall/Victoria Sports News

The Victoria Royals have played up to their competition this year with recent wins over Red Deer, Portland, Lethbridge and Vancouver, who have better records than the fifth-place Royals. Saturday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, the Royals were shutout 3-0, but not for a lack of effort.

“I thought it was a great game. I am really proud of them,” said Coach Dan Price. “We had a pretty even number of scoring chances, but two of their goals were lucky bounces. I think the game could have gone either way.”

The Silvertips occupy first place in the Western Conference and second place overall with a 32-9-1-1 record entering Saturday’s action. Only the Prince Albert Raiders have a better record going 36-5-0-1 in 42 games played so far this season. The Silvertips have the league’s stingiest defence with just 88 goals against, and the 4,913 Victoria fans in attendance saw why first-hand. They boxed out the Royals for the first two periods and clogged up the neutral zone very effectively.

“I think they did, but we adapted and started penetrating their end late in the game,” added Price.

Defenceman Ralph Jarratt agreed. “We adapted and made some adjustments and we came on during the third period. I am not worried about the results, I think we played well.”

The Royals play three games in three nights with the third being in Langley Sunday against the Vancouver Giants.

“It’s not hard to get up for a game against the Giants, we have a good rivalry,” added Jarratt.

Phillip Schultz breaks in on Wolf. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall/Victoria Sports News

Royals newcomer, Kody McDonald, has scored three goals in the five games since arriving in Victoria. Former Royals forward Dante Hannoun, who McDonald was traded for from the Prince Albert Raiders – and his 36 points in 28 games – will be missed. Hannoun played parts of six seasons with the Royals. McDonald also spent time with the Prince George Cougars.

Asked if he feels he had made the adjustment and how his role is compared to elsewhere he said, “I play the same way every night. I bring a little bit of diversity, sometimes I score, and sometimes I mix it up with the other team.”

There was no scoring during the first period of play; however, there were plenty of hits by both teams. Neither team was able to keep a sustained attack. Both teams played a tight first period defensively. The Royals did have good possession time on the powerplay while Conrad Mitchell sat for two minutes for slashing.

At 1:36 of the second period, Zack Andrusiak scored his 31st of the season. He backhanded the puck behind Griffen Outhouse, who had made the initial save off of a Ronan Seeley point shot.

During the second period, the Silvertips battened down the hatches and kept the Royals to the outside. The Royals had trouble penetrating the Silvertips end and had little sustained attack.

At 16:04 Kody McDonald and Dawson Butt dropped the gloves. Butt got the first few punches in; however, McDonald would score the win with a series of left hands to Butt’s head.  They were both assessed five-minutes for fighting.

The teams skated to the dressing rooms with the Silvertips up 1-0.

The Silvertips got lucky on a turnover in the Royals zone. Justyn Gurney scored his first goal of the season, as Wyatte Wylie shot it off of his hip; the puck deflected and went five-hole on an unsuspecting Griffen Outhouse at 8:10. At 10:35, the Silvertips put the game away going up 3-0 with a bang-bang play by Rease Vitally and Bryce Kindopp, who fed him the tape-to-tape pass on the rush. Outhouse was committed to Kindopp and couldn’t get across to the right side in time.

Everett outshot Victoria 30-29. The powerplays went 0/1 and 0/3 for the teams respectively.

The Royals next play Sunday in Langley when they take on the Vancouver Giants. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 pm.

Dustin Wolf earned the 29-save shutout win for Everett, while Griffen Outhouse took the loss stopping 27/30 that were fired his way.