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If it isn’t Griffen Outhouse literally saving games with his off-the-charts, cat-like reflexes meant for some other universe, it could be a handful of other game-changers, Dante, Hannoun, Noah Gregor, Tanner Kaspick, Tyler Soy or Matthew Phillips to name a few. Monday, Phillips took over.
During Game 2, he set up Jeff de Witt for the game-winner to tie the series. During game 4, he scored once and set-up three others including two of Soy’s three goals.
Monday, in Langley, Phillips set up Hannoun at 14:57 of the second period to tie the game at 1-1 and change momentum. Goaltender David Tendeck was stonewalling the Royals until that puck deflected off Hannoun’s skate and went in.
At 18 seconds into the third period, Gregor and Hannoun forced a turnover in the Giants’ end, fed Phillips, who buried the puck.
With James Malm off for interference at 2:15, Phillips slipped between two defensemen and put the puck past Tendeck with authority. He put the Royals up by the most dangerous lead in hockey, 3-1.
Ty Ronning who was shutout so far during the 2018 playoffs finally scored his first goal of the post-season at 6:10. At 14:37 Tyler Benson notched his third to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.
At 7:06 of overtime Phillips fed Gregor for the winner, to force Game 7 in Victoria.
The diminutive Calgary Flames-signed player also a Calgary native carried the team on his back. He factored in all four Royals’ goals.
The Royals will battle the Giants, Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m., in Game 7 at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
Tuesday’s game will mark only the second time in Victoria’s franchise history that the team has played in a Game 7. This last occurred in Round 2 of the 2016 WHL Playoffs against the Kelowna Rockets. Over the last 12 years, the Royals/Bruins franchise has played in 13 playoff series in 11 post-season appearances.
PK PARTY: The Royals’ penalty kill has seen success during these playoffs as the club’s penalty kill sits tied for first in the WHL with a mark of 16/18=88.9%. At home, the Royals have posted a mark of 6/6=100.0%, which is tops among playoff teams.
TUESDAY – 7:05 p.m.
Single game tickets to Game 7 versus Vancouver are on sale now at the Select Your Ticket Box Office and start at just $19.00. This will be one of the most heavily attended games of the year, and fans are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance to avoid line-ups at the box office. Tickets are available over the phone at 250-220-7777, online at www.victoriaroyals.com or in-person at the Select Your Tickets Box Office.
Gamesheet – https://bit.ly/2uFWWSm
Royals – Matthew Phillips 2g-2a, Noah Gregor 1g-2a (Game Winner), Dante Hannoun 1g-1a, Jared Freadrich 0g-1a.
Vancouver – Tyler Benson 2g-0a, Davis Koch 0g-2a, Darian Skeoch 0g-2a, Ty Ronning 1g-0a, Dawson Holt 0g-1a, Bowen Byram 0g-1a.
Royals – Griffen Outhouse (W) – 67:02 Mins, 40 saves on 43 shots
Vancouver – David Tendeck (OTL) – 67:06 Mins, 16 saves on 20 shots
Royals – 1/2=50.0%
Vancouver – 0/5=0.0%
Winner Takes All – Tomorrow night’s Game 7 marks the second winner-take-all contest in Royals’ history. The previous seventh game occurred on April 19th in Round 2 of the 2016 WHL Playoffs against the Kelowna Rockets.
Overtime Magic – Today’s overtime contest marked the first time in this series that a game went past regulation. During the regular season, the Royals and Giants played into overtime on three occasions, where Victoria won all three times.
Staying Hot – A trio of Royals’ skaters extended their point streaks in tonight’s game. Noah Gregor has nine points (4g-5a) over his last five games, Matthew Phillips has scored 11 points (4g-7a) in three straight contests, and Dante Hannoun has collected nine points (3g-6a) during a three-game point streak.
Opening Goal – For the first time this series between Vancouver and Victoria, the club who scored the opening goal of the game did not win the contest.
Record Setter – With a pair of helpers, Royals’ forward Matthew Phillips set the franchise record for the most assists (9) in a single playoff run. Austin Carroll (14-15) and Jack Walker (15-16) previously held the mark when they both recorded eight helpers.
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Twitter Handles – @victoriaroyals, @WHLGiants, @n_gregs20, @mattphillips_8, @hannoun19.