Vancouver, B.C. – For the third time this season, 60 minutes was not enough time to determine a winner between the Vancouver Giants and the Victoria Royals. With their net empty, trailing 3-2, Giants captain Tyler Benson helped secure a single point for his team when he snuck a low point-shot off a Victoria defender and past Griffen Outhouse with 53 seconds remaining to tie the game at three apiece. The jubilation was short-lived however as Tanner Kaspick ended the game for Victoria on a breakaway 2:28 into overtime lifting the Royals to the 4-3 victory. The single point keeps the Giants two points back of the Royals for second in the B.C. Division standings. Tyler Benson finished with two goals for Vancouver while Tanner Kaspick responded with two goals for the Royals. The Giants have now dropped four straight, but have earned a single point in two of those outings.
The Giants offense got started early when Dawson Holt whacked home an Alex Kannok Leipert rebound 2:54 into the opening period for his eighth of the season.
Andrei Grishakov responded for the Royals at 7:34 when he parked himself in front of the Giants goal and one-timed an Igor Martynov pass through David Tendeck for his 15th.
Less than two minutes later Vancouver answered when Tyler Benson parked himself in the slot and tipped home a Matt Barberis feed from the right-wng point. Benson’s tip went up and over the right shoulder of Royals starter Griffen Outhouse. Shots were 12-9 Royals after one but the Giants led 2-1.
Penalties cost the Giants in period two as the Royals capitalized on two separate power play chances in the middle stages. Kaspick tied the game at 7:25 off a low shot from the right-wing circle that made its way through the legs of Tendeck. Then at 10:28, Matthew Phillips got in on the offensive act for Victoria when his pass attempt from the side of the net deflected off the skate of a Giants defenceman and past the left leg of Tendeck. Victoria outshot Vancouver 10-6 in the middle frame and led 3-2 through 40 minutes.
Vancouver’s best period was the third as they matched the Royals physically and outshot them by a 10-9 margin. David Tendeck kept the Giants within striking distance with some timely saves and with time winding down and the net empty the Giants captain rose the occasion.
From the right-wing point, Benson walked the line towards the middle and let a low shot go along the ice. The puck bounced off a Royals defenceman’s skate and past Griffen Outhouse who was sliding to his left, and the Langley Events Centre crowd of 3357 came unglued! For Benson it was his second of the game and his 19th of the season.
The final 53 seconds ticked away with neither team managing another goal, which meant overtime for the 13th time in 49 games for Vancouver.
Vancouver’s best chance in overtime came courtesy of defenceman Matt Barberis who hit the post at the side of the Royals goal with Griffen Outhouse down and out.
A few seconds later Tanner Kaspick ended the game when he won a foot-race to a puck at center ice and skated in alone on Tendeck. The St. Louis Blues prospect skated in close before sliding a low shot under the right pad and home for his 16th of the season and his second on the night.
Victoria’s power play played a big part in their victory as they went two-for-five. Vancouver were unsuccessful on all four of their power play chances.
The win helped Victoria’s record improve to 28-17-3-1 while the Giants record now sits at 25-16-5-3. Two points now separate the division rivals as Victoria holds the slim edge. They’ll now head home to face the Calgary Hitmen twice on Saturday and Sunday. The Giants are idle until Wednesday where they’ll continue their eight-game home stand when they host those very same Calgary Hitmen at 7:00 PM.