November 23, 2012, Victoria, BC – Despite Jamie Crooks’ team leading 12th goal, the Victoria Royals went down to defeat 5-4 Friday night in WHL action at Save0on-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria.

Victoria opened the scoring at 5:20 of the first period when Steven Hodges netted his sixth of the season. Hodges fired a wrist shot from the left point that beat a screened Mac Engel – the Cougar’s starter – between the legs.

Prince George responded nearly one minute later when Brett Roulston scored in similar fashion. Roulston released a shot from the top of the left circle that found its way through the crowd in front and past Polivka.

The Cougars then took the lead at the 14:24 mark on a tally from Ryan Hanes. Alex Forsberg drove down the right wing before he left a drop pass for Hanes who wired a shot over Polivka’s glove. Prince George later added a powerplay goal from Colin Jacobs with three seconds remaining in the period to take a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.

The Cougars extended their lead to 4-1 on Roulston’s second of the night at 3:31 of the middle frame. The Prince George forward beat Polivka high over the glove on a snapshot from the top of the right circle. Victoria then made a goaltending change as Coleman Vollrath was called upon to replace Polivka in the Royals’ net.

Victoria cut the lead in half when Jamie Crooks notched a powerplay goal at 7:30 of the second period for his 12th of the season. Logan Nelson fed a behind-the-back pass from below the goal line to Crooks in front who picked the low blocker side on Engel.

The Royals pulled within one goal at 15:26 when Ben Walker found the back of the net. Alex Gogolev burst down the right wing before he left the puck for Walker who ripped the puck past Engel high stick side. The Cougars restored their two goal lead 30 seconds later when Hanes registered his second of the night. Hanes pounced on a Forsberg rebound in front to give Prince George a 5-3 lead heading into the second intermission.

Victoria made it a one goal game halfway through the final frame on Brandon Magee’s 11th goal of the year. The Royals’ forward deflected Brett Cote’s point shot past Engel stick-side while the team’s played with four skaters a side. Victoria made a late charge when they pulled Vollrath for the extra attacker, but were unable to get the equalizer before the final buzzer. Cougars 5 Royals 4.

Victoria went 1/4 = 25.0% on the power play, while Prince George was 2/6 = 33.3%. The Cougars outshot the Royals 28-24.

The Royals will face-off against the Cougars again tomorrow night in the second game of the set. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. The Royals Holiday Combo is on sale now for just $60! Single game tickets and mini-packs are now on sale. Guarantee yourself the best seats by visiting, calling 250-220-7889, or emailing before it’s too late!