The Vancouver Giants conceded three goals in the third period to fall to the Victoria Royals by a score of 4-2 on Friday evening at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Trace Elson and Cain Franson scored for Vancouver while Jared Rathjen made 22 saves in the loss.
Elson opened the scoring for Vancouver less than three minutes into the first when he deflected a Brett Kulak point shot past Patrik Polivka in the Victoria net to put the G-Men ahead. However, the Royals would equalize later in the period after Tim Traber was given a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for a hit on Brandon Magee, and Magee came back to score on the ensuing power play. Rathjen came up big for the Giants late in the period when he stopped Magee on a breakaway to keep the game tied.
The Royals turned up the pressure in the first half of the second period and had a couple of opportunities to take the lead on the power play, but the Giants hung around and took the lead on a man advantage of their own when Kulak carried the puck down the left wing and feathered a pretty behind-the-back pass into the slot to Franson who buried his 12th goal of the year, extending his goal scoring streak to four games.
Prior to Friday's game, the Giants had not lost in regulation when leading after two periods, but the Royals would stage a comeback in the final frame. Ben Walker tied the game when he scored on a backhander, beating Rathjen on the blocker side. Taylor Crunk netted the eventual winner later in the period, and Magee would add an empty net goal in the final minute of the third to clinch the win for Victoria.
The two teams will get right back at it against each other on Saturday night in Victoria. Catch the play-by-play on TEAM 1040 and teamradio.ca. The Pre-Game Show begins at 6:30pm, followed by the opening face-off at 7 o'clock.
1. Brandon Magee - Victoria
2. Brett Kulak - Vancouver
3. Taylor Crunk - Victoria