March 29, 2017 Victoria, BC ( ISN ) – Victoria Royal’s Griffen Outhouse and Regan Nagy would set the tone early against the Everett Silvertips, leading the Royals to a pivotal 2-1 decision Wednesday night at Save-On Foods Arena in front of 4637 fans, tying the best of seven WHL playoff series at 2 games each.
Nagy, the game’s second star, could have been the labeled the fans scapegoat early in the first period when an aggressive check would sit him in the penalty box for interference. A defensively-minded Royals would turn aside the sharpshooting Silvertips, shutting down a power play that has paid dividends for the visiting team in the series, scoring 39 percent with the player advantage.
The Victoria Royals would find the back of Everett’s net first off a well-connected swing of the stick after a loose rebound would be batted out of the air and past the Everett net minder Carter Hart by the atoned-for Nagy to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Vladimir Bobylev would get the assist on the play. The Royals would enjoy slim, one goal lead going into the first intermission.
The continued aggressive play of the Royal’s in front of the Everett net minder would pay second period dividends when Mathew Phillips’ second effort behind the Silvertip’s net would find Dante Hannoun in front of the crease to put the puck behind Hart to take a two goal lead with one minute remaining in the second period. The Silvertips, pressing with time running out, would solve the Victoria goalie Outhouse in the dying seconds only to have the goal disallowed due to goalie interference, much to the liking of Royals fans in attendance.
Despite four power play attempts, the Everett Silvertips would only be able to capitalize once in the game late in the third period when, on a four minute, ill-advised penalty to Vladimir Bobylev with 4:45 remaining in the game, Nanaimo native Patrick Bajkov, would score forty seconds into the advantage on an assist from teammates Kevin Davis and Dominic Zwerger to narrow the score 2-1. For Bajkov, that is his 3rd power play goal in four games to lead all players in the WHL playoffs.
The Royals, showing defensive grit on their penalty kill, would hold off the Silvertips the remaining three minutes to take the 2-1 win. The series now returns to Everett for game five. The Royals can close out the series and advance in the playoffs with a pair wins in their next three games.
Victoria goalie Griffen Outhouse would take first star honors, while Royals Regan Nagy and Matthew Phillips would receive second and third star nods respectively.
Everett Silvertips netminder Carter Hart would stop 18/20 shots, while Victoria Royals Griffen Outhouse would stop 30/31 shots on net.