The Victoria Royals fell just short in their 6-5 loss against the Spokane Chiefs in another overtime thriller.
Eight minutes into the first period, the Chiefs got on board first on a goal from Yannick Proske to make it a 1-0 game. With six minutes to go, Tanner Scott and Luke Shipley connected to get Shipley his first WHL goal on a centering pass making it a tie game. A minute later, Bear Hughes caught Arnold while he was down and put one high in the net to give Spokane the lead. The Chiefs got their third of the night when the Royals went on the penalty kill with just under five minutes to go followed by a fourth goal a minute later to make it a 4-1 game.
Tarun Fizer opened the scoring in the second period with a short-handed goal on a Chiefs error to make it a 4-2 game less than five minutes in. Spokane kept applying pressure to the Royals net in retaliation, but the Royals continued to build off the momentum from Fizer’s goal. Victoria went on the power play with eight minutes to go in the second when Schuurman scored one from the point on an assist from Tarun Fizer and Gannon Laroque to make it 4-3 to end the period.
The third period saw Gannon Laroque taking a four-minute double minor for checking from behind, when six seconds later Fizer scored his second short-handed goal of the night to tie the game. Evan Patrician took a tripping penalty a minute into Laroque’s minor to give Spokane the two-man advantage. The Chiefs made it 5-4 with a goal from Jack Finley 15 seconds into the five-on-three. With six minutes to go, Tarun Fizer completed the hat-trick on a pass from Evan Patrician and Brayden Schuurman to tie the game up at five.
It was another overtime for the Royals, but with two and a half minutes left, Spokane’s Blake Swetlikoff put one in the net to end the game 6-5.
“Spokane deserves a lot of credit, they came out strong, scored early and played a good game,” said GM and Head Coach Dan Price. “On our side, although we showed some resilience by coming back late in the game, we have to start the game on time, which we didn’t tonight. We’ll learn from it and look forward to tomorrow’s game in Tri-Cities.”
The three stars of the night were Bear Hughes (SPO), Tarun Fizer (VIC) and Yannick Proske (SPO).