Victoria Royals forward Tanner Kaspick scored twice in Wednesday’s 7-6 shootout loss to Edmonton at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The Royals continue their Western Hockey League homestand with games against Red Deer on Friday and Vancouver on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Spencer Pickles/Black Press

Win eludes WHL Royals for second time this week

Victoria opens homestand with 7-6 shootout loss to lowly Edmonton

A goaltender’s duel it was not.

But for fans of wide open hockey, Wednesday’s Western Hockey League contest in Victoria offered a little of everything. In the end, however, it was the Edmonton Oil Kings who went home happiest, scoring a 7-6 shootout victory over the Royals.

Resting No. 1 netminder Griffen Outhouse, the Royals gave 18-year-old prospect Joel Gryzbowski the start in net. Called up from Battlefords of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, where he has a 1.82 goals against average and two shutouts this season, Gryzbowski stopped 21 of 27 Kings shots in regulation and overtime. He gave up two goals in the shootout, including the winner to Tomas Soustal.

Tyler Soy scored the game’s opening goal 1:02 in, giving the Royals their only lead of the game. It was 3-3 after one period and the Kings held a 5-4 lead after two, with Soustal scoring the go-ahead goal at the 14:09 mark.

Tanner Kaspick tied it up for the Royals 2:54 into the third with his second of the game, but Soustal scored the potential game winner with less than four minutes to play.

But with Gyrzbowski pulled for an extra attacker, Noah Gregor scored from Matthew Phillips and Kaspick at the 19:02 mark to ultimately send the game to overtime.

Edmonton, currently tied for last place overall in the WHL, outshot Victoria 2-1 in overtime.

Kaspick and Soy led the Royals with three points each, while other goal scorers included Phillips and Kade Jensen.

After a night off, the Royals host the Red Deer Rebels on Friday and the Vancouver Giants on Saturday, with both ganes starting at 7:05 p.m.

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