Victoria Royals Kade Jensen and Andrei Grishakov scramble with Vancouver Giants player Jared Dymitriw during Western Hockey League Game 1 playoff action at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Friday. The Giants won 2-1. Game 2 goes Saturday night in Victoria. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

The Victoria Royals ran into a hot backup goaltender Friday who got some help from the iron, and the visiting Vancouver Giants stole a 2-1 victory to open the teams’ Western Hockey League playoff series.

Sixteen-year-old rookie Trent Miner, playing in place of the Giants’ injured No. 1 starter David Tendeck, made 40 saves and gave the Royals few rebounds to pounce on.

“It was pretty awesome to come in here, especially into Victoria where there’s that big B.C. rivalry,” Miner said.

After a shaky start with a couple of big hits and a couple of killed-off penalties, he said, the Giants’ confidence began to build. Where the shots were once 14-3 Royals, they ended up 14-13 by the intermission and the Giants showed good composure under pressure. Miner expected more of the same for game 2 Saturday night back at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

“It’ll be a hard fought battle, gritty, two teams that hate each other, but another great game.

All the goals came in the second period, with the winning marker coming off the stick of defenceman Matt Barberis and snapping a 1-1 tie at the 18:25 mark. The shot, coming with plenty of bodies in front of Royals goalie Griffen Outhouse, seem to float through a gap and beat the netminder high to his right.

Giants head coach Jason McKee noted his team will have to continue that strategy to have success against the veteran.

“He’s a great goalie and he’s very athletic, so we’re going to have to get some second-chance opportunities and the only way that’s going to happen is if we get to the net,” he said.

Of his own young goaltender, McKee was thrilled to get such a performance from Miner, but noted that Tendeck’s condition — he was listed as having an upper body injury – will be evaluated after the Saturday morning skate.

“He’s been our go-to guy all year, he’s earned that, so when that time comes that he’s ready, he’s going to get his opportunity in there,” McKee said.

The Giants drew first blood in the game on a breakout from their own end. James Malm took a pass over the Royals blueline, sent a nifty backhand pass to Ty Ronning, who shot on net, then Milos Roman scored off the rebound 5:48 into the period.

About six minutes later the Royals’ Tanner Kaspick tied it up. He finished off a slick three-way passing play in front of Miner begun by Matthew Phillips, who found Dante Hannoun, who dropped it for Kaspick.

Royals head coach Dan Price sounded calm after the game, noting there are bound to be ups and downs for his team in the series and that no one expected it to be over in four games.

“I thought it was a really strong effort on both teams, kind of like we expected,” he said. “It was very physical, it was fast, a lot of tenacity on both sides with scrums around the net. I thought both teams competed very hard.”

The Royals had plenty of good chances, he added, not to mention hitting the post or crossbar four times on the night. He echoed McKee’s comment on the importance of getting traffic in front of the net, and said they may need to be more selective with their shots.

The Royals finished the night outshooting the Giants 41-33. Both teams went 0-for-4 on the power play.

Game time Saturday is 7:05 p.m.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Saanich police continue to search for attacker in Gordon Head sexual assault

Police urge residents to remain vigilant, lock doors and windows

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

Proposed terms for forum exploring amalgamation between Victoria and Saanich under fire

Amalgamation Yes questions size of assembly, while Saanich stands accused of changing mandate

Sexual assault charge dropped against from CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Reeling Port Alice about to lose its only bank

Scotiabank branch closure follows latest mill setback, bad for business and the elderly

Most Read