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The Victoria Royals took on the Vancouver Giants Saturday during Teddy Bear Toss Night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre and the two teams shot the lights out of the building in front of 6,129 fans. There were a total of 84 shots blasted at the nets, 42 each. The game went into overtime for four-minutes and 46 seconds where the Giants prevailed by the score of 5-4.
It was Dave Lowry’s 300th regular-season game for the Royals, in that time he has accumulated a winning record of 179-100-21.
The Royals would play without injured veteran goal scorer Tyler Soy. Defenceman Scott Walford continues to be out of the lineup also. Both players are slated to be back within two weeks. Also out with injuries tonight were forwards Jared Dmytriw and Ryan Peckford
The Giants opened the scoring at 9:56, when Jack Flaman netted his 10th goal of the season; the lone assist went to Tyler Benson, who subsequently scored his 10th four minutes and 38 seconds later to put the Giants up 2-0. Matt Barberis and Alex Baer assisted on the powerplay marker, while the Royals’ Mitchell Prowse served a two-minute minor for hooking.
At 15:57 Eric Florchuck got the Royals on the board with just his second of the season from Ethan Price and Kaid Oliver.
Any potential momentum shift was at least temporarily muted as 1:56 later the Giants got up by the score of 3-1 when Jeff Raymond scored his first goal of the season from James Malm and Ty Ronning.
The first period ended 4-1, which resulted in starter Griffen Outhouse being chased from the net in favour of Dylan Myskiw.
At 19:25 of the first, Benson took a two-minute minor for cross-checking, so the Royals started the second period on the powerplay. Chaz Reddekopp, property of the Los Angeles Kings, scored his fifth of the season on that powerplay at the 54-second mark. Assists went to Vladimir Bobylev and Dante Hannoun.
Calgary Flames’ Matthew Phillips scored his team-leading 24th of the season from Jack Walker and Ryan Gagnon at 19:55 to put the scare into the Giants. The game was now tied 3-3. Phillips, in his second season as a Royal, now sits second in goals in the Western Hockey League and ninth in points with 45 in 33 games played.
At 8:44 of the third, Walker deflected the puck off of goaltender Ryan Kubic’s skate to put the Royals up 4-3; queue the comeback. Gagnon and Phillips assisted on the goal. Walker from Edina, MN is second in team points and 20th in the league with 17 goals and 24 assists.
At 12:38 and 12:43, the Royals took two delay-of-game penalties. Hannoun and Reddekopp would sit. The Giants failed to score; however, at 18:42 Thomas Foster netted his eighth of the season from Benson and Dmitry Osipov, to tie the game.
“We’ve been giving up two-goal leads for too long and that won’t be happening in the second half of the season. We are not where we want to be. We have work to do,” Said Coach Dave Lowry.
During overtime, Bobylev, who recently re-joined the team from the KHL, was assessed a two-minute minor for hooking at 4:22. Twenty-four second later, Ty Ronning made no mistake burying the puck past Outhouse, who was back in the net for overtime. Benson and Thomas Foster assisted.
It was a four-point night for Benson, while Ronning earned a goal and an assist for the Giants. Jack Walker and Matthew Phillips each earned a goal and an assist while defenseman Gagnon had two helpers on the night.
The Giants went 2/5 on the powerplay, while the Royals went ¼.
The Royals next play, Tuesday, Dec 27th when they host the Prince George Cougars. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 PM.