February 2, 2013, Prince George, BC (ISN) – In a Saturday night contest at the CN Centre, the Victoria Royals went up against the Prince George Cougars for the second consecutive night.
The Royals started Patrik Polivka in net, while the Cougars sent Mac Engel in between the pipes.
The first period was a tight-checking affair between the two squads. Both Victoria and Prince George had opportunities to break the scoreless draw, but their respective goaltenders turned aside each shot they faced. After 20 minutes of play the teams remained deadlocked at 0-0.
Alex Gogolev opened the scoring for the Royals at 5:41 of the middle frame. Jordan Fransoo carried the puck down the right wing before he snapped a shot on net that was saved by the pad of Engel. The rebound bounced to the right faceoff circle where Gogolev pounced on the puck and slotted it into the back of the net. Tension between the two teams boiled over as Victoria’s Jack Walker and Cougars’ Jake Mykitiuk went toe-to-toe near the midway point of the period. Walker landed a couple solid blows and took the decision in his first WHL scrap. Prince George continued to apply pressure in the latter half of the frame, but could not solve Polivka. The Royals took the 1-0 lead into the second intermission.
The Royals killed off two penalties and Polivka turned aside 12 shots, but Cougars’ defenceman Dallas Ehrhardt tied the game with 1:34 left in the third period. Ehrhardt jumped on a loose puck and took a slap shot through traffic from the left point that sailed past Polivka. There would be no heroics in the dying moments and the game headed to overtime tied 1-1.
Overtime would solve nothing and a shootout was needed to award the extra point. The Cougars elected to shoot first, but Zach Pochiro lost the handle on the puck. Steven Hodges shot first for Victoria, but was denied on his backhand after a huge glove save by the Prince George netminder. Troy Bourke and Colin Jacobs shot next for Prince George, but were each turned aside by Polivka. The second and third shooters for Victoria were Brandon Magee and Jamie Crooks, but Magee rang one off the crossbar while Crooks was stopped by Engel. After Polivka made a save on Cougars’ forward Caleb Belter, the Royals sent Gogolev to center ice with a chance to win the game. The Russian forward streaked toward the net and made a quick move to his forehand before he snapped the puck off the post and into the back of the net. Royals 2 Cougars 1 in a shootout.
Victoria went 0/2=0.0% on the powerplay, while Prince George went 0/4=0.0%. The Royals were outshot by the Cougars 39-29.
Victoria will now head home to face the Seattle Thunderbirds for a two-game midweek series starting on Tuesday, February 5th. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
We are Royal Blue! Are you? Guarantee yourself the best seats for upcoming Royals games by visiting www.selectyourtickets.com, calling 250-220-7777 or visiting the Select Your Tickets box-office at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. Mini-Packs, Vouchers and special rates for groups of 10+ are available by visiting www.victoriaroyals.com or calling 250-220-7889.