© Copyright – 2016 – Victoria Sports News
As the Royals were leaving town, that is the Kate and William show, the real Royals were back in action at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre hosting the visiting Kamloops Blazers tonight.
The Royals won by the score of 1-0 and owe that win mostly to the outstanding goaltending of Griffen Outhouse. He was the best player in the game, stopping 34 shots, many close-in.
The modest sophomore wouldn’t take the credit, saying, “I am only as good as the team that plays in front of me.” However, it was Outhouse that kept the score close by making many spectacular saves.
Back in the line-up for the Royals were three veterans that were in NHL camps including Jack Walker (Toronto), Matthew Phillips (Calgary) and Tyler Soy (Anaheim). Not back in the line-up yet is hulking defensemen Chaz Reddekopp who is still with the Los Angeles Kings camp.
The lift in confidence was palpable from the Royals first rush.
“They are a different team with those guys in the line-up,” said Coach Dave Lowry.
Mid-way through the first, the shots were 6-3 Blazers, despite two consecutive Royals power-plays.
When asked about the power-play that has yet to score this season and went 0/6 tonight, Lowry said, “I am not worried about the power-play at this point.”
At the end of one the shots were 10-6 Blazers. The teams went to the dressing rooms with the score tied at 0-0.
During the second period the Royals enjoyed a slight advantage in the play and missed on several excellent scoring opportunities including close-in chances from Jared Dmitriw, Ethan Prize and Tyler Soy.
Walker took a pass at the top of the slot, put the puck between the legs of a Blazers defender, then picked it up on the other side and got off a dangerous looking shot. Walker was skating miles.
Matthew Phillips was slipping the puck into the slot and made several flat, tape-to-tape passes, he was also skating miles. At 10:20 of the third, he received a Ryan Peckford pass at centre and skated in down the right side for a break-a-way and made no mistake burying the puck low glove side to get the game’s first and only goal.
Phillips looks faster than last year, where he earned 76 points and WHL Rookie of the Year honours.
During the third the Royals had the edge in play until the final few minutes when the Blazers began to show desperation in their play.
The game ended with a series of scrambles in front of Outhouse and with less than two minutes to go the Blazers pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker. Outhouse stood tall.
Both teams went 0/6 on the power-play, while Blazers netminder Connor Ingram stop 23 of 24 shots.
Victoria concludes their homestand tomorrow night when they take on the Kamloops Blazers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.