The never-give-up Victoria Royals played the Tri City Americans to a tie game into the third period Wednesday in Washington, but a pair of goals in the final frame lifted the home side to a 5-3 victory and a sweep of the teams’ Western Hockey League series.
Morgan Geekie’s league-leading 15th goal of the WHL playoffs and sixth of the series was the winner, scored 5:29 into the third and set up by fellow prolific pointgetters Michael Rasmussen and Jake Bean. The Americans added an insurance goal from Riley Sawchuk late in the period.
The Royals were hoping to crack the code on the Americans and bring the series back to Victoria for a Game 5 on Friday.
Noah Gregor led the Victoria attack with two goals. He opened scoring 3:49 into the first, finishing off a passing play from Dino Kambeitz and Mitchell Prowse, but Tri City responded with three straight goals before the period was over.
Kaid Oliver scored 2:43 into the second to pull the Royals within a goal, then Gregor connected on the power play from Jared Freadrich and Matthew Phillips midway through the frame to tie it up.
The Americans poured it on in the third, firing 17 shots at Griffen Outhouse. The locals outshot the Royals 39-27 overall, with Patrick Dea picking up the win in net.
The Americans will play the winner between Everett and Portland in the Western Conference finals. The Silvertips lead the Winterhawks 2-1 heading into tonight’s Game 4 in Portland.