Likely’s Griffen Outhouse made history twice this month with the Western Hockey League’s Victoria Royals.
The 20-year-old goaltender set the all-time franchise record with 85 career wins and, prior, also set a club record with 35 victories in a single season.
“It’s an honour,” Outhouse said of the accomplishment. “The guy who had it before me, Coleman Volrath, he was my goalie partner when I first came into the league when I was 17 and I backed him up that year.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without him mentoring me. He taught me so much, and I was lucky to have him.”
Outhouse, who is now preparing to help lead the Royals into the WHL playoffs against the Vancouver Giants later this month, also credited his teammates for accomplishing the feat.
“I can’t get that without them – the way they play in front of me – guys willing to block shots that don’t have that much gear on, my coaches for giving me lots of opportunity to play,” he said.
“They’ve taught me lots, and especially my goalie coach, Lynden Sammartino. He’s been by my side these last three years, and my parents, who are always supporting me to be the best I can be.”
Outhouse helped the Royals to a second-place finish in the WHL’s B.C. Division (39-27-4-2). In 60 games, Outhouse picked up 35 wins, 17 losses, four overtime losses and one shootout loss.
Heading into playoffs, he said the Royals are all on the same page with one goal in mind – picking up a WHL championship and moving on to win the Memorial Cup.
“It’s just making sure we execute each and every day and continue to get better,” he said.
“For myself, I’d say my personal goals are very similar to the team’s. I’m not worrying about stats. I don’t care how many shots I face. It’s just about when I’m facing shots just executing the saves as simply as possible, as controlled as possible and eliminating any second chances and just be the best me I can be.”
Eligible again for this year’s National Hockey League draft, and following back-to-back stellar seasons with the Royals, Outhouse said he isn’t putting much thought into what happens moving forward.
“I’m eligible to play next year as a 20 year old in Victoria if they want me,” he said. “I love it here, so obviously I’d love to play with Victoria, but I’m not too worried about the draft.
“It’s just something I don’t really think about. For me, I just want to keep getting better day after day, however, if it happens my opportunities will come and I just need to make the most of them.”
Outhouse and the Royals will open their WHL playoffs on Friday, March 23 with game one against the Giants.
For anyone looking to watch Outhouse in action, they can catch game four of the series live on Rogers Sportsnet on Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m.