Vancouver Giants’ forward Jared Dmytriw digs for the puck in a scrum in front of Victoria Royals goaltender Griffen Outhouse during first-period action Saturday at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The Giants overcame an early 1-0 deficit to win 6-2 and sweep the home-and-home Western Hockey League series. Vancouver won 3-1 on Friday in Langley. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Victoria junior hockey weekend wrapup

WHL Royals slumping, Junior B Cougars look to snag top spot in South

The Vancouver Giants gave indications they were a good team in early season losses to the Victoria Royals.

And as the Western Hockey League settles in for its Christmas break, the Giants have proven they deserve a place among the leaders in the B.C. Division, beating the Royals in both ends of a home-and-home series last weekend in Langley and Victoria.

The Royals’ 6-2 loss on Saturday at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre was their third straight and seventh in the past nine games. The slump has seen Victoria (20-13-3-0) caught for top spot in B.C. by the surging Kelowna Rockets (20-11-2-1). The Giants (18-13-2-2), winners of six straight games and three in as many nights last week, now sit just three points back of the leaders.

Saturday’s home game saw the Royals lead 1-0 after 20 minutes on Matthew Phillips’ team-leading 24th goal, despite being outshot 19-6. The shot margin was essentially reversed in the second but it was the Giants who took a 2-1 lead.

Eric Florchuk’s seventh of the season gave the Royals a 2-2 tie at 1:09 of the third. Then the visitors went to work, scoring four unanswered goals and finishing with 44 shots to Victoria’s 27. Dylan Plouffe, Ty Ronning and Brayden Watts each had two goals in the win.

On Friday Vancouver built a 3-0 lead and cruised to a 3-1 win, yielding only a late second-period goal from Royals newcomer Noah Gregor. He scored his 15th goal and first as a Royal since coming from the Moose Jaw Warriors earlier this month.

The Royals return to action with home games against the Prince George Cougars on Dec. 27 and 28 before hitting the road for games in Kelowna and Kamloops Dec. 30 and Jan. 1.

Cougars grab share of first in South

The Victoria Cougars (16-12-1-1) have an opportunity this week to move into first place alone in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League’s South Division.

The Cougars caught up to the Westshore Wolves (16-13-1-1) atop the division with a 2-2 tie in Saanich on Friday, one night after beating Kerry Park 3-1 in Esquimalt.

Victoria hosts Kerry Park for a second straight Thursday this week (Dec. 21, 7 p.m.) at Archie Browning Sports Centre. The Islanders (13-14-0-4) won the previous game 4-3 over the Cougars on Dec. 7 in Mill Bay and sit just four points back of the leaders in the ultra-tight South Division standings.

On Friday the Cougars head to Campbell River to take on the powerful Storm (23-6-2-0, second North Division) for just the second time this season. Campbell River won the previous encounter 6-1 in Esquimalt back on Nov. 19.

After the Christmas break the Cougars return to action Jan. 4 at home with a key matchup against the Wolves.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VicPD investigates stabbing near Selkirk Montessori school

Victim in potentially life-threatening condition

New wing opens at Victoria International Airport

The 19,000 sq. ft. passenger lounge can hold up to 500 people

Realtor pitches Langford’s third retail cannabis store

Local business owner Ron Cheeke prepares to open Honeycomb Cannabis

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

Island contestant competes on Great Canadian Baking Show

Andrea Nauta auditioned for the show before but was lucky second time around

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read