Royals Rebound for Exhibition Win Over Giants

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

September 13, 2015 (ISN) – The Victoria Royals scored three third period goals to break open a 1-1 tie and go on to a 4-1 win over the visiting Vancouver Giants in Western Hockey League (WHL) exhibition play Sunday afternoon at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.

Victoria forward Logan Fisher carries the puck into the Giants end.  Fisher would score the Royals fourth goal later in the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The win avenges the Royals 3-2 loss to the Giants in Ladner on Saturday night, in a feisty game that saw former Royal Taylor Crunk get into a dust-up with the Royals Tyler Thompson, with both players as a result, sitting out Sunday’s return engagement.

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Victoria netminder Coleman Vollrath was in mid-season form Sunday, stopping 42 of 43 shots in the Royals 4-1 win over the Giants (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Royals can thank veteran goaltender Coleman Vollrath for Sunday’s win, as he turned aside 42 Giant shots in total, using his mid-season form to stop a number of solid chances, especially in a third period that saw the Giants out-shoot the Royals 17-7.

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Vancouver forward Brennan Menell would snap this shot over the shoulder of Victoria goaltender Coleman Vollrath for the Giants only goal of the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The only blemish on Vollrath’s day was a pretty, short-handed, two-on-one goal from the Giants Brennan Menell, his second of the pre-season, at the 12:06 mark of the second period that opened the scoring in Sunday’s game.

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Vancouver goaltender David Tendeck knocks the puck away from Royals forward Jared Dmytriw on this scoring chance in Sunday’s pre-seaspn game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Giants 1-0 lead was short-lived however, as just over five minutes later, Royals defenceman Brayden Pachal took a nice pass at the point from Matthew Phillips, walked in and fired a nice shot past Vancouver goaltender David Tendeck to tie the game 1-1.

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Vancouver’s Brennan Menell (21) tries to avoid the checking pressure of Victoria’s Matthew Phillips during third period action Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In the third period, the Royals made good use of their meager seven shots on goal, scoring on four of them. Former Giant Vladimir Bobylev got things going at the 4:01 mark when he chipped in a softie from the side of the net that somehow snuck between the post and the leg of Tendeck, giving the Royals the 2-1 lead.

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Victoria’s Alex Forsberg (16) looks for a way past Vancouver defender Josh Thrower (47) during the Royals 4-1 win Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Ryan Peckford would make it 3-1 at the 10:53 mark as he would go hard to the net and jam in a Keith Anderson centering pass and just under two minutes later, veteran Logan Fisher would jump on a loose puck in the slot while on the powerplay and fire a wrister over Tendeck to make it 4-1 and close out the scoring on the day.

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Victoria defenceman Brayden Pachal (22), who would have a goal and an assist on Sunday, lets a shot fly while on a third period powerplay (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For the Royals, Phillips (two assists) and Pachal (goal and an assist) had two point afternoons. Alex Forsberg added an assist to jump into a tie for the Royals pre-season scoring lead with Scott Walford and Phillips, all now with five points.

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Victoria forward Matthew Phillips (11) would have a pair of assists Sunday to vault into a three-way tie for the Royals pre-season scoring lead with five points (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Royals will now head south to Washington for a pair of exhibition games this weekend against the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday Sep. 18 and the Everett Silvertips on Saturday Sep. 19. They then return home to open the season against the Portland Winterhawks on Friday Sep. 25.

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Victoria’s Alex Forsberg (16) would notch an assist Sunday in the 4-1 win over the Giants (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: A number of notable Royals were missing from Sunday’s game as they are all attending NHL camps. This includes Joe Hicketts (Red Wings), Jack Walker (Wild), Chaz Reddekopp (Kings), Greg Chase and Tyler Soy (Oilers), and Evan Smith (Predators). With the loss of Jack Palmer, this will mark the first year in three that the Royals do not have a Victoria or Vancouver Island native on their active roster.

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Former Giant Vladimir Bobylev (23) would score the game winning goal against his old teammates with a marker in the third period Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

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