It may have been the most dramatic teddy bear toss victory in the 18-year history of the Vancouver Giants.
With only a minute and 19 seconds remaining in the third period trailing by a goal, Giants defenceman Bowen Byram scored the 2018 teddy bear toss goal for the G-Men, sending a crowd of more than 9,000-strong at the Pacific Coliseum into a frenzy, said Giants play-by-play broadcaster Dan O’Connor.
Former Victoria Royal now Giants captain Jared Dmytriw then won the game for Vancouver at 3:02 of overtime on a breakaway giving the Giants a 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Victoria Royals (13-12-1-0).
Royals sophomore forward Tarun Fizer had the Royals lone goal, which came at 13:29 of the third period.
For the Giants it was their seventh win in a row and helped them improve their record to 21-6-2-0 on the season.
Dan Price’s Victoria Royals came out flying, O’Connor said.
They outplayed and outshot the Giants by a wide margin to the tune of a 14-4 shot count.
Giants starter David Tendeck was very sharp stopping all 14 shots he faced, while Royal’s netminder Griffen Outhouse went four-for-four at the other side.
“His night would get busier in periods two and three.”
The Giants responded in a big way outshooting the Royals 17-5 in the middle frame, yet neither goaltender blinked.
Tendeck went five-for-five for the Giants while Outhouse was “sensational” at the other end for the Victoria Royals, O’Connor explained.
For a second straight season, the Giants went into the third period of a teddy bear toss game tied 0-0.
Fizer notched his fourth goal of the season at 13:29 of the final period to give the Victoria Royals the 1-0 cushion.
Then, with time winding down in the game the Giants 2017 teddy bear hero made history.
Byram snuck in from the left point and one-timed a Dmytriw feed past Outhouse at 18:41 to tie the score.
For Byram it was his ninth goal of the season. He’s also the first Vancouver Giant to record multiple teddy bear goals.
Shots were 16-6 in the third period and for a second time in five meetings, overtime would be needed to determine the winner between the two B.C. division foes.
Dmytriw ended the game 3:02 into overtime when Kaleb Bulych broke up a play in the defensive zone, and then sent him in on a breakaway rush.
Dmytriw moved into the slot and wired a shot up and over the left shoulder of Outhouse, securing the 21st victory of the season for the Vancouver Giants.
For Dmytriw it was his seventh goal of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Final score: Giants 2 – Royals 1
• Final shots: 38-26 Vancouver
• David Tendeck: 25/26 saves for Vancouver (11-5-1-0)
• Griffen outhouse: 36/38 saves for Victoria (11-8-1-0)
• Giants power play: 0/2
• Royals power play: 0/1
• Giants next game: Friday night at home against the Everett Silvertips. 7:30 puck drop.
• Saturday’s win was the first overtime victory of the season for the Giants who were previously 0-2 in overtime.
• The Giants are now 1-2 in overtime and 3-0 in shootouts through 29 games.
• Bowen Byram’s third period goal moves him into a first place tie with Moose Jaw’s josh Brook for the WHL lead in goals for defencemen. Byram and Brook each have nine.
• Davis Koch extended his point-streak to 10 games with an assist on Byram’s teddy bear goal. Koch has now notched six goals and 11 assists for 17 points during that 10-game span. Koch had one previous 10-game point streak that he achived during the 2016-17 season with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
During the 2018 Chevrolet teddy bear toss, the Giants wore limited edition Buddy the Elf themed jerseys.
Those game-worn autographed jerseys are available for purchase until Dec. 12, via online auction.
Proceeds from the auction go towards the CKNW Kids’ Fund.