The Vancouver Giants are heading back to Vancouver Island deadlocked in a 2-2 series. Thursday night in front of 4823 at the Langley Events Centre the Victoria Royals dealt the Giants a 7-3 loss. The trio of Tyler Soy, Dante Hannoun and Matthew Phillips combined for 12 points and goaltender Griffen Outhouse made 27 saves on 30 shots faced to help the Royals tie the series. Jared Dmytriw, Davis Koch and Dylan Plouffe responded with goals for the Giants.
Victoria led 3-0 after the first period thanks to three goals in a span of just over 10 minutes. Matthew Phillips opened the scoring at 7:18 off the rush when his shot from the right-wing circle snuck underneath the glove of Giants starter David Tendeck. For Phillips it was his first goal of the playoffs.
Ralph Jarratt increased Victoria’s lead to 2-0 at 13:52 when his shot from the left point went in through traffic. Then with time winding down in the period Tyler Soy, who appeared in his first game of the series, hammered home his first of three goals on the night on a power play at 17:44 to make it a 3-0 lead. Shots were 11-5 Royals after one.
Dylan Plouffe got the Giants on the board at 1:33 of the second when his shot from the left point beat Royals netminder Griffen Outhouse. Plouffe’s goal was his first of the series and came with one second remaining on a power play. Vancouver’s power play went one-for-four on the night.
Davis Koch got Vancouver a goal closer at 7:20 when he took a Tyler Benson pass in the slot and snuck it past the stick of Outhouse and home for his first of the series. The Langley Events Centre crowd was ecstatic and a 3-0 Royals lead had become a 3-2 advantage.
That was as close as the Giants would get on Thursday though as the Royals countered with two quick strikes a minute and 32 seconds apart in the back-half of the period. Dante Hannoun whacked home a rebound at 12:22 to move the Royals back ahead by two and then Tyler Soy converted on a five-on-three power play chance at 13:54 to restore the Royals three-goal cushion. Victoria led 5-2 after 40 minutes and held a 24-16 edge in shots.
Tyler Soy completed his hat-trick for the Royals 3:10 into the third period off the rush when he tapped home a slick feed from Dante Hannoun. A few shifts later Soy got tangled up with Giants captain Tyler Benson after a whistle. The two players wrestled each other to the ice, and when they got to their feet, Soy immediately went to the Victoria dressing room. He didn’t return.
Jeff de Wit snagged the Royals final goal of the game at 11:52 of the third on Victoria’s seventh power play of the game. The visitors finished the night three-for-seven on the man advantage.
Jared Dmytriw added a late marker for the Giants with two minutes left, but that was as close as they’d come in a 7-2 home-ice setback. Final shots were 31-30 for the Royals.
The Giants were without the services of defencemen Darian Skeoch and Matt Barberis, both of whom missed Game 4 due to suspension. Skeoch served Game 3 of 3 while Barberis served Game 1 of 1.