Dan Elliott

There is a couple of similarities heading into this weekend’s double dip between the Vancouver Giants and Victoria Royals; one, both teams come in with identical 9-7-0-1 records and two, both teams are coming off a win over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Throw in the fact, these two teams don’t like each other that much and you can expect some intense hockey Friday and Saturday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

The Giants head to Vancouver Island having won 5 of their last 6 games, including a 4-2 victory over Seattle Tuesday night. Brendan Gallagher continues to lead the way offensively. He is 3rd in the league in goals with 14 and 9th in league scoring with 23 points. The Montreal Canadiens draft pick is coming off a 3 goal, 4 point effort vs. the Thunderbirds. Adam Morrison has proven to be worth every penny since being acquired from Saskatoon early in the season.The 20 year old has won his last 5 starts and is now 8-3-0-1 on the year. Unfortunately, the injury bug has hit the Giants as of late, so as a result, Anthony Ast, Matt Bellerive, Scott Cooke, and Blake Orban will all be unavailable this weekend. Logan Harland, who was called up Monday from the AJHL, will remain with the team for the two games this weekend.

The Royals are led by Kevin Sunder. The Buffalo Sabres draft pick is coming off a 4 goal, 5 point performance Saturday night vs. Seattle. He leads the league in assists with 21 and is 3rd in the league in scoring with 32 points. Like Gallagher, he will take part in the upcoming Subway Super Series as a member of Team WHL. Victoria has dealt with their own injury woes. Defensemen Tyler Stahl and Zach Habscheid have been out for an extended period of time with concussions. Stahl has missed the last 13 games, while Habscheid has been on the shelf for the last 11 games.

So far this season, the Giants have dominated this match up vs. their arch rivals. Vancouver is 3-1-0-0 in 4 games vs. the Royals, including a perfect 3-0 on home ice. The Giants only loss to Victoria this season came at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on September 24, when they fell 5-3. In their 3 victories the Giants outscored the Royals 18-4. The top line of James Henry, Marek Tvrdon, and Brendan Gallagher have combined for 10 goals and 24 points vs. Victoria this year.

Both games can be heard live on AM 650 on Friday November 4 and Saturday November 5 beginning at 6:30 pm with the pregame show. The puck drops at 7:05 pm on both nights.