Forward Jake Poole recorded his first career hat trick and tallied four points as the Victoria Royals fell 6-5 in overtime to the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Saturday.
The 20-year-old has now recorded eight points on four goals and four assists since being acquired by Victoria from the Kelowna Rockets earlier this month, and now leads the team with 10 total points on the year (five goals, five assists).
The McAuley, MB product credited his teammates and coaches for the success he’s found in Victoria:
“It’s so easy when it’s such a great group of guys,” said Poole postgame. “Everything here is really first-class. I think it’s helped me too, if you want to become a professional player, they treat it like that every day…Every guy in there wants to get better and it’s wearing off on me and I think it’s going to wear off on a lot of others.”
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Royals, who found themselves up 5-3 with two minutes remaining on the clock after Poole led a furious comeback early in the third.
Two late goals by Giants forwards Samuel Honzek and Ty Thorpe would force overtime, where Victoria-born forward Ty Halaburda would secure the game-winner and hand Vancouver the 6-5 victory in dramatic fashion.
Despite the final result, it was an overall impressive offensive performance for Victoria, who saw four players record multi-point games.
Forward Teague Patton pitched in with a goal and two assists, while defenceman Luke Shipley (two assists) and Kalem Parker (three assists) all provided valuable minutes from the blueline in the loss.
General Manager and Head Coach Dan Price was impressed by the effort displayed by his team on Saturday:
“We really pushed there, and for the most part had a good third period,” said Price postgame. “That’s a very difficult result and I do feel for the players because the effort was there, but we’re not making any excuses and we’re not accepting that outcome. Our business is results. Vancouver made some plays at the end but to a man in our room we have to control those situations and lock that down in regulation. We will correct that tomorrow before we go on the road.”
Giants forward Ty Thorpe was the top scorer for the visitors, recording four points on two goals and two assists.
It was a busy night for both goaltenders, with Vancouver’s Jesper Vikman making 30 saves on 35 shots and his counterpart, Royals netminder Tyler Palmer stopping 23 of 29 shots against.
It was a hot start for Vancouver (2-5-1-2), who got on the board early with a goal by forward Samuel Honzek (4) at the 1:50 mark of the first, giving his team the 1-0 lead.
That lead would hold until the 4:58 mark of the second, when Giants forward Ethan Semeniuk (4) tipped a point shot from teammate Madzen Leslie to put Vancouver up 2-0.
Victoria (2-8-2-0) would get one back at 7:07 of the middle frame on a goal by Jake Poole (3) to cut the lead to 2-1 as the game passed its midway point. Defenceman Kalem Parker would count the assist on the goal.
However, the Giants would retake a two-goal advantage at 15:50 of the frame on leading-scorer Ty Thorpe’s fifth of the season, coming on the powerplay.
The back-and-forth action would continue as Victoria forward Teague Patton cut into the visitor’s lead once again at the 18:28 mark with a sharp angle shot over the right shoulder of Vancouver goaltender Jesper Vikman.
Defenceman Luke Shipley and forward Jake Poole would collect assists on the play.
The momentum would shift decisively in the Royals favour early in the third period as forward Jake Poole tied the game with his second of the night and fourth of the season at 4:29, with Patton picking up his second point of the game with an assist on the goal.
Poole (5) would then complete the hat trick and pick up his fourth point of the night after redirecting a Luke Shipley shot to give the Royals a 4-3 lead. Shipley and defenceman Kalem Parker would count assists on the play.
Victoria would then take a 5-3 advantage on a goal by forward Riley Gannon (2) at the 9:07 mark of third, with Patton and Parker counting assists to give them each three-point nights.
With three goals in a span of five minutes, it seemed the Royals had the win all but secured, however the Giants would soon cut the Victoria lead back to one on forward Ty Thorpe’s (6) second of the evening at the 18:11 mark.
Then, with only 1.4 seconds remaining on the clock, a loose puck would bounce onto the stick of Vancouver’s Samuel Hozek (5), who drove it home for the dramatic game-tying goal to force overtime.
In overtime, Victoria native Ty Halaburda (4) would play the hero, scoring the game-winner at 1:09 of the extra frame against his hometown team to secure the 6-5 overtime victory for the Giants.
Looking ahead, the Giants are scheduled to be back on the ice tomorrow afternoon as they host the Kamloops Blazers for a Sunday matineé at the Langley Events Centre.
Meanwhile, the Royals will take the next few days off to prepare for a two-week, six game tour of the prairies with games scheduled against the Red Deer Rebels, Medicine Hat Tigers, Swift Current Broncos, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Calgary Hitmen and Edmonton Oil Kings.
They will begin their road trip on Wednesday, Oct. 26 against the Red Deer Rebels at the Peavey Mart Centrium. Puck-drop for that contest is set for 7 pm.
The next set of Royals home games will be on Nov. 11 and 12 against the Portland Winterhawks.