Royals Solidify Hold on Playoff Spot With Win Over Cougars

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Prince George, BC (ISN) – Victoria’s Robin Soudek recorded two goals and the Victoria Royals solidified their hold on a Western Conference playoff spot with a 5-3 win over Prince George Saturday evening.

In a Saturday night match up at the CN Centre, the Victoria Royals faced off against the Prince George Cougars in the second game of a doubleheader.Victoria started Jared Rathjen in net, while Prince George countered with Drew Owsley.

The game got off to a fast start as both teams exchanged early scoring chances. Following a collision at center ice, Victoria’s Steven Hodges and the Cougars’ Daniel Gibb squared off in a fight. Both players landed blows before they fell to the ice. The Royals got on the scoreboard first after Zane Jones buried his 12th of the season. The Victoria forward corralled a rebound off a Dakota Conroy shot in front of the crease and slid the loose puck past Owsley.Prince George answered just 23 seconds later after Troy Bourke went up the middle of the Royals’ zone and wristed a shot from the hash marks that beat Rathjen under the blocker. After 20 minutes of play the game remained tied 1-1.

Victoria would make it 2-1 following the five-minute mark of the second period on an offensive rush that saw Logan Nelson carry the puck to the right corner. He centered a pass through the legs of a Cougars’ defender to Robin Soudek, who beat Owsley through the five-hole with a hard one-timer. The Royals increased their lead to two late in the period off the stick of Brandon Magee. The forward banged home a loose puck at side of the net after the initial shot by Hodges eluded the control of Owsley. After two periods,Victoria held a 3-1 lead.

The Royals made it 4-1 early into the final frame when Soudek pried the puck away from a Cougars’ defenseman near the left faceoff dot and snapped a quick shot off the left post and in. Prince George cut into the lead at 5:38 on a shorthanded play that saw Jarrett Fontaine spring Dalton Siwak in alone and beat Rathjen between the legs. The Cougars would make it 4-3 when Chase Witala streaked in off the left wing and fired a high wrist shot that went over the glove hand of Rathjen. Victoria withstood a desperate late-game push from the Cougars and rounded out the scoring with an empty net goal by Hodges. Royals 5 Cougars 3.

Victoriawent 0/6 = 0.0% on the power play, whilePrince Georgewas 0/6 = 0.0%. The Royals outshot the Cougars 42-33.

The Royals now sit in seventh place in the west, just two points up on eight place Seattle, but more importantly now five points up on Everett.

Victoria returns home for a pair of weekday games against the Spokane Chiefs on Tuesday, February 28th and again on Wednesday February 29th. Puck drop for both games is slated for 7:05 p.m. at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. For further details or to purchase your tickets today, visit the Victoria Royals Ticket Office, www.selectyourtickets.com/victoriaroyals, e-mail vrtickets@victoriaroyals.com. or call 250-220-7889.

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