Thomas Foster and Joel Hamilton both had two-point nights as the Vancouver Giants came from behind to beat the Victoria Royals 5-4 in a shootout on Friday night at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The victory marked the first time the Giants have come back to win when trailing after 40 minutes this season.
The Royals had a strong start and opened the scoring when Steven Hodges completed a pretty passing play with Brandon Magee and Axel Blomqvist by scoring his 13th of the season to put the home team ahead. The Victoria club had a couple of other good chances in the opening period, but Payton Lee was solid in net, including an impressive left pad stop on Logan Fisher off the rebound of a Brett Cote point shot.
Lee came up big again early in the second when he made a big save on Blomqvist on the door step to keep the Giants close, and the Vancouver club tied the game shortly thereafter when Foster and Dalton Sward skated in on a shorthanded two-on-one and Sward was robbed by Royals goalie Patrik Polivka, but he followed up and scored on the rebound to pick up his sixth shorthanded goal of the season, tying James Henry's franchise record for shorthanded goals in a single season. Victoria retook the lead on a power play goal later in the stanza as Brandon Magee wired a hard shot over Lee's left shoulder, but Cain Franson pulled the Giants back onto level terms with an unassisted marker. The Royals went ahead again late in the frame when Logan Nelson tallied his first of the evening with less than two minutes remaining before the break.
Foster tied the game at 3-3 early in the third period when he scored with a shot off the left wing, and Tim Traber found the net on his own rebound to give the G-Men their first lead of the evening. Nelson scored for a second time to tie the game again, and the teams would need overtime, and eventually a shootout, to settle the match-up. In the skills contest, Franson scored for Vancouver while Lee stopped all three Victoria shooters to complete the comeback win.
The two teams will play again on Saturday night in Victoria. Hear the action on TEAM 1040 and teamradio.ca. The Pre-Game Show begins at 6:30pm, followed by the face-off at 7 o'clock.
1. Thomas Foster - Vancouver
2. Logan Fisher - Victoria
3. Joel Hamilton - Vancouver