Victoria, BC - In a Friday night contest at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, the Victoria Royals faced off against the Vancouver Giants for the first meeting of a home doubleheader. The Royals started Patrik Polivka in net, while the Giants sent Payton Lee in between the pipes.
The B.C. Division rivalry kicked off with a spirited scrap between the Royals' Tim Traber and the Giants' Mason Geertsen just 49 seconds into the game. Traber took the decision before Brandon Magee opened the scoring for Victoria at 3:52 with his 20th goal of the season. The pretty tic-tac-toe play started when Alex Gogolev streaked down the left wing and hit Steven Hodges with a pass in the high slot. Hodges then fed a pass to Magee who fired it past Lee from the bottom of the right face-off circle. Vancouver tied the game at 6:36 on a goal by Carter Popoff. An errant puck found its way to the high slot where Popoff beat Polivka with a slapshot high over his blocker. The Giants then took the lead at 11:02 on a goal by Cain Franson while the teams played four-on-four hockey. Franson received a pass from Reid Zalitach at theVictoria blue line then skated in alone and beat the Royals' netminder under the arm with a forehand to backhand move. After a heated first period, Vancouver took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Brandon Fushimi tied the game at 3:43 of the middle frame with his fourth goal of the season. Hodges fought for a loose puck in front of the Giants' net before Fushimi picked up the puck and slid it past the left pad of Lee. Vancouver regained the lead when Jackson Houck was awarded a penalty shot at the 4:52 mark. Houck snapped a shot high glove side on Polivka to make it 3-2 in favour of Vancouver. Magee would respond for Victoria as he notched his second of the night on the powerplay at 8:05. Gogolev drove down the right wing and threw the puck out front for Magee who sniped the puck high past a screened Giants' goaltender. Jordan Fransoo looked to give the Royals the lead, but an incidental contact on the goaltender ruling saw the goal waved off. Magee continued to produce as he completed the hat-trick at 13:38 of the middle frame with another powerplay strike. Brett Cote received a cross-ice pass from Gogolev at the left face-off circle before the defenceman found Magee alone to the right of Lee where he tapped in his third of the night. After 40 minutes of play, the Royals held a 4-3 lead.
The third period began with Magee scoring his fourth goal of the night at just the 32 second mark. After a scrum formed around the right post of Lee, the puck squeaked out to Magee who was parked in front and banked the puck into the back of the net. Magee's goal tied the franchise record for most goals scored in a game and prompted the Giants to replace Lee with Jared Rathjen in goal. Fushimi stretched the lead to 6-3 with his second of the night at 2:21 while on the powerplay. The puck took a deflection off a Vancouver defender and found Fushimi at the left post where he tapped the puck into the back of the net. Houck netted his second of the night on the powerplay to cut the lead to two at the 17:35 mark. Brett Kulak took a shot from the point that deflected wide of the net. The puck bounced out to Houck at the left post where he shelved it short side. Vancouver pressed hard in the final minutes, but could not come any closer. Royals 6 Giants 4.