Royals Score Twice Late to Steal Victory From Seattle

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November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Jared Legien (23) drives to the net with just over 18 seconds to play for what would be the game winning goal in the Royals 4-3 win over Seattle on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Seattle Thunderbirds dominated the Victoria Royals for nearly 58 minutes on Friday night, but then let their guard down for the final two, as the Royals received goals from Igor Martynov (his second of the game, with 2:05 remaining) and Jared Legien (with 18 seconds remaining) to escape with a come from behind 4-3 win over the Thunderbirds in front of an announced crowd of just over 5,000 fans at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Igor Martynov (15) would tie the game with just over two minutes remaining on this wrap around shot past the leg of Seattle goaltender Matt Berlin (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Victoria’s Igor Martynov (15) would tie the game with just over two minutes remaining on this wrap around shot past the leg of Seattle goaltender Matt Berlin (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Martynov’s game tying goal came on an impressive power move from behind the net, as he used all of his reach to wrap the puck around the leg of Seattle goaltender Matt Berlin. Just 1:47 later, Legien found himself in alone on a breakaway and beat Berlin cleanly to send the crowd into a frenzy.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Jared Freadrich (27), playing in his 150th career WHL game, looks for a shot against the defence of Seattle's Sami Moilanen (18) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Victoria’s Jared Freadrich (27), playing in his 150th career WHL game, looks for a shot against the defence of Seattle’s Sami Moilanen (18) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Igor Martynov (15) navigates his way through neutral zone traffic on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Victoria’s Igor Martynov (15) navigates his way through neutral zone traffic on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Martynov’s and Legien’s heroics would not have been possible were it not for the stellar play of Royal’s goaltender Griffen Outhouse, the game’s first star, who stopped 43 of the Thunderbird’s 46 shots. Two of the Thunderbird goals came in a first period that saw Seattle dominate, outshooting the Royals 15-8 and getting goals from Sami Moilanen (5:04) and Zack Andrusiak (11:34) that gave the T-Birds a 2-1 lead into the first break. Martynov responded for the Royals with his first goal at 6:39 of the frame.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - VIctoria's Tyler Soy (17) would miss a goal by inches on this rush during the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – VIctoria’s Tyler Soy (17) would miss a goal by inches on this rush during the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The two goals that Outhouse gave up in the first, were two that he probably would have liked to have back, but he more than made up for those early in the second, when he came up with three huge saves with the Thunderbirds on an early powerplay.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Seattle's leading scorer, Austin Strand (2) would add an assist against the Royals on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Seattle’s leading scorer, Austin Strand (2) would add an assist against the Royals on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Dino Kambeitz (25) loads up a shot (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Victoria’s Dino Kambeitz (25) loads up a shot (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

That seemed to give the Royals some life and they would proceed to tie the game at the 9:44 mark of the period, on a powerplay of their own, with Matthew Phillips notching his 20th goal of the season, knocking in a rebound after a solid first attempt from the shifty Dante Hannoun.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Kaid Oliver (34) makes life a little difficult for Seattle goaltender Matt Berlin (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Victoria’s Kaid Oliver (34) makes life a little difficult for Seattle goaltender Matt Berlin (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Seattle Captain Turner Ottenbreit (4) looks for options as he carries the puck up ice on Friday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Seattle Captain Turner Ottenbreit (4) looks for options as he carries the puck up ice on Friday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Just when it looked like that tie would carry through to the second intermission, the Thunderbirds won a key faceoff in the Royals end, with Dillon Hamaliuk eventually banging home a rebound with 33 seconds left in the frame to give Seattle a 3-2 lead.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Seattle's Matthew Wedman (21) heads up ice during the second period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Seattle’s Matthew Wedman (21) heads up ice during the second period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - The Victoria Royals Dante Hannoun (19) would have a pair of assists in the 4-3 win over Seattle on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Royals Dante Hannoun (19) would have a pair of assists in the 4-3 win over Seattle on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Outhouse (now 15-4-1-0 in his 21 appearances) would take over after that, stopping all 16 of the Thunderbird’s third period shots (Seattle ended up outshooting the Royals 46-23) to keep the Royals in the game and set the stage for the late game drama. Seattle pulled Berlin for an extra attacker after the Royals fourth goal, but were not able to get the tying goal in the final 18 seconds of the game.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Seattle's Jake Lee (24) and Victoria's Jared Legien (23) battle for position in front of the Seattle net in the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Seattle’s Jake Lee (24) and Victoria’s Jared Legien (23) battle for position in front of the Seattle net in the third period Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Seattle's Tyler Carpendale (14) looks for a way to the net during second period action against the Royals on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Seattle’s Tyler Carpendale (14) looks for a way to the net during second period action against the Royals on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

With the win, the Royals snap a two-game losing streak and improve their BC Division leading record to 17-8-1-0. The defending WHL Champion Thunderbirds fall to 11-10-1-1 and drop into last place in the US Division.

The Thunderbirds went 0 for 5 on the powerplay, while the Royals converted one of their seven chances

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - Victoria's Jared Legien (23) heads to the net with just over 18 seconds to play for what would be the game winning goal in the Royals 4-3 win over Seattle on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – Victoria’s Jared Legien (23) heads to the net with just over 18 seconds to play for what would be the game winning goal in the Royals 4-3 win over Seattle on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The two teams will be right back at it on Saturday night in Victoria in the second game of the set. Puck drop at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre is at 7:05 pm. The Royals then hit the road for a four-game swing through the prairies, with stops in Moose Jaw (Nov. 28), Swift Current (Nov. 29), Medicine Hat (Dec. 1) and Lethbridge (Dec. 2) before returning home for a game with Kootenay on December 8th.

November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC - As Seattle's Austin Strand (left) reacts in frustration, the Royal's Jared Legien (23) and Jared Freadrich (27) celebrate Legien's game winning goal Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
November 24, 2017, Victoria, BC – As Seattle’s Austin Strand (left) reacts in frustration, the Royal’s Jared Legien (23) and Jared Freadrich (27) celebrate Legien’s game winning goal Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: Victoria’s Tyler Soy (124g-139a) was held off the score sheet Friday and thus remains one point back of Brandon Magee (113g-151a) for the all-time franchise record for most career points. Victoria defenceman Jared Freadrich played his 150th career WHL game Friday. The 46 shots on goal for the T-Birds was their season high for shots.

See all Christian J. Stewart’s images from this game at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p346774584 

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