Story on @dubnetwork.ca
Photos by Gord Rufh for the @dubnetwork.ca
The second period was one to forget for the Victoria Royals, allowing four goals and being outshot by a whopping 23 to 3 by the Vancouver Giants.
Royals starting goalie Adam Evanoff faced an onslaught, with Vancouver goals coming from Tyler Preziuso, Zack Ostapchuk, Eric Florchuk and Justin Sourdif.
The Giants power play came alive, going 4-for-7 on the night. Lacking all season, Vancouver’s play with the man advantage looked deadly Saturday night.
Giants forward Cole Shepard had a goal and an assist in the game. “It was just another good effort. We played well last night and carried through for the whole weekend.”
“Victoria is tough to play against,” added Shepard. “They are hard to make plays against and they come in waves. So, it was a good win and just want to keep it going.”
Royals captain Phillip Schultz said of his team’s second period, “We can be proud of our first and third period. We fought hard and had the right mindset.”
“For some reason, the mindset and the willingness to fight through the second period was not there,” said Schultz. “The more goals they got, we went down instead of up.”
“I think it was two off games for us,” said the Victoria captain. “I’m not seeing a bad pattern right now at all. I’m positive that we have the group to turn around. There’s no doubt in this room that these were two off games and that’s not our level.”
The Royals came into action Saturday looking to earn a split in the home-and-home versus the Giants. The night before, former Royal Florchuk torched his former club with a hat trick and powered the Giants to the victory.
For Victoria, standout goalie Shane Farkas was scratched for his second straight game, while Kaid Oliver and Sean Gulka were newly unavailable to the Royals.
Victoria opened the scoring as captain Schultz snuck behind the Vancouver defence and worked some quick hands to beat Trent Miner. The 1-0 goal came at 5:17 and was the seventh of the year for the Danish forward.
Late in the period, Vancouver evened it while with the man advantage. Jackson Shepard had the screen and the tip of a Michal Kvasnica point shot to tie the game 1-1 at 18:48.
The Giants came out flying in the second period, scoring early at just 22 seconds in. Tristan Nielsen made a nice pass to Preziuso who beat Evanoff to put Vancouver ahead.
Vancouver kept it coming, adding another as Sourdif made a nice blind pass to Ostapchuk who beat Evanoff. Less than four minutes into the second, the Giants led period shots 7-1 and continued the pressure on Victoria.
Just past the midway point of the period, Victoria ran into penalty trouble, resulting in a Vancouver 5-on-3 power play. It didn’t take long before the Giants struck, with the puck being worked around to Florchuk who whistled the one-timer past Evanoff at 12:42. The marker was the fourth goal in two nights for Florchuk, with plenty of game left to play.
The goals continued, as a big scramble in front of the Victoria net eventually led to the puck crossing the line. Every player on the ice had collapsed on the crease for the scramble. Eventually, Sourdif banged it home for the 5-1 lead.
In the third period, the Giants added another power-play goal, their fourth of the game.
Tempers finally boiled over as Carson Miller dropped the gloves with Seth Bafaro. The tilt was followed by scrums after every whistle, which was expected considering the rivalry and the score.
Victoria got one back on a power play of its own, a goal by Gary Haden at 16:30, making the score 6-2.
The Giants continued to the victory, sweeping the two-game set versus the Royals.
Next up for Victoria, a six-game road trip out east to Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
“I’m super excited,” said Schultz. “It’s the first time I’m going to Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It’s a great way to bond as a team, with a couple of new guys coming in. So, we’re a close group right now. But when we come back from this road trip, I promise everyone, we’re even closer.”
“The trip comes at a perfect time because we can rest here for a couple of days,” said Victoria head coach Dan Price. “Once we’re fresh, we can get back to work on some things, get our lineup back in order and get our technical play down.”
The first game of the mammoth road trip goes Friday, January 24th, against the Brandon Wheat Kings.