Patrick Polivka stopped a Cain Franson penalty shot with 1:43 left in the third to help the Victoria Royals (6-2) edge the Giants (2-5) in Vancouver 2-1 Sunday.
The Royals have won all three meetings against the BC division rivals, following a pair of victories on opening weekend.
“Beating the Giants is a huge thing for us, we’re just across the pond from each other and it’s always a good rivalry and being able to go undefeated so far against them is huge.” said Royals forward Brandon Magee on the rivalry.
Victoria wraps up 3 games in 3 nights with a (2-1) record after a 5-3 loss in Spokane Friday, and a 4-3 shoot out victory in Tri City Saturday.
“We’ve worked a lot on our conditioning and it’s paid off a little bit, the guys were ready…” said Assistant Coach Ben Cooper.
The new bus with bunks is paying dividends, according to Cooper, “Having a bus where you can sleep at night, when you have a 6 hour trip getting here, it helps.”
Special teams was a factor Sunday as Brandon Magee scored short handed 30 seconds into the opening frame. After Nathan Burns tied in 40 seconds into the second, Austin Carroll scored the eventual game winner on the power play. There was no scoring in the third.
“We knew going into the trip this was going to be the toughest game, 3 in 3 and in Vancouver where it’s a tough place to play. We’re just thrilled to have this victory, the guys played hard.” said Cooper, “We got good goaltending and special teams so we’re very happy with this win.”
Victoria’s penalty kill was a perfect 5 for 5, their power play 1 for 3.
Polivka was named the games first star with a 29 save performance, his 5th win in 6 starts. Tyler Fuhr suffered his first defeat allowing 2 goals on 22 shots.
“It was a good game tonight, the guys came out flying, brought the momentum from last night into tonight. 3 in 3 is never easy, the guys are a resilient bunch and were able to get a win here tonight.” According to Magee who leads the Royals in goals with 6, while riding a 4 game point streak (4g, 1a).
Buffalo draft pick, Logan Nelson named 2nd star, extends his streak to 4 games (2g, 3a) by assisting on the winner.
The Royals have won 3 out of 4 in 5 night stretch after a 4-3 overtime decision Wednesday against Medicine Hat.
With back to back wins, Victoria takes top spot in the Conference, one point ahead of idle Kamloops, their next road opponent Wednesday. The Royals are 1-1 against the Blazers after a 4-3 shoot out win and 3-0 loss Sept 28th and 30th in Victoria.
Victoria Royals 2 at Vancouver Giants 1 - Status: Final
Sunday, October 7, 2012 - Pacific Coliseum - Vancouver, BC
Victoria 1 1 0 - 2
Vancouver 0 1 0 - 1
1, Victoria, Magee 6 (Fisher, Zgraggen), 0:30 (SH).
Penalties-Harrison Vic (tripping), 0:20; Crooks Vic (hooking), 9:50; Walker Vic (charging), 16:36; served by Tvrdon Van (too many men), 17:59.
2, Vancouver, Burns 5 (Tvrdon, Houck), 0:40.
3, Victoria, Carroll 2 (Walker, Nelson), 6:15 (PP).
Penalties-Sieben Van (boarding), 5:27; Carroll Vic (charging), 8:31; Magee Vic (roughing), 10:02; Houck Van (roughing), 10:02; Vannieuwenhuizen Van (checking to the head), 19:14.
Penalties-served by Nelson Vic (too many men), 1:29.
Shots on Goal-
Victoria 9-9-4-22. Vancouver 9-10-11-30.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 3; Vancouver 0 / 5.
Victoria, Polivka 5-1-0-0 (30 shots-29 saves).
Vancouver, Fuhr 2-1-0-0 (22 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Kevin Bennett (29), Brett Iverson (24).
Linesmen-Nick Bilko (66), Ron Dietterle (121).