What’s nearly a month without victory feel like?
Not fun and the Victoria Royals never want to experience it again.
The Royals snapped a franchise-record tying 11-game winless streak (0-8-3) with a 5-3 WHL victory over the Vancouver Giants before 5,393 fans Friday at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
It was Victoria’s first win since Feb. 10.
“Losing is extremely exhausting. It’s not a good feeling,” said forward Steven Hodges, who scored twice for Victoria.
“It felt good to get the monkey off our backs.”
It took awhile in coming but the Royals finally tied the franchise record for most wins in a season, matching the 33 from 2010-11, when the team was located in Chilliwack and known as the Bruins.
Jack Walker, directly off a face-off win by his brother Ben Walker, scored the winner to make it 4-3 at 4:26 of the third period.
“The puck was meant to go to [Logan Nelson] — it was a lucky bounce,” said Ben Walker.
But his brother, a rookie, was ready when the opportunity presented itself.
“Jack is really picking it up. Every game, he gets better and better,” said Ben Walker, who also scored on the night.
The Giants (19-47-2) will miss the playoffs for the first time since the franchise’s 2001-02 inaugural season, but came into the game having won four of their last five games. Vancouver got a goal and three points from Cain Franson.
Victoria energy-forward Brandon Magee, while short-handed and from a smart assist from Hodges, scored his 30th goal of the season.
“The guys are excited and worked hard,” said Victoria head coach Dave Lowry, who manufactured victory despite missing five players to injury and two to suspensions.
“It was nice to hear some music in the room tonight [following the game].”
The Royals, who will go into the playoffs as the sixth seed in the Western Conference, are 7-2 against Vancouver. The clubs close out their 10-game season series tonight at the PNE Pacific Coliseum.
In what may be a shift in the depth chart, former back-up Coleman Vollrath made his second straight start in the crease for Victoria and made 28 saves.
Former Royals goalie Jared Rathjen made 24 saves for Vancouver.
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