Bailey Peach recorded a hat trick to help the Victoria Royals to a 3-0 victory over the Prince George Cougars for their second win in as many nights.
The 20-year-old forward leads the team with 72 points (33 goals, 39 assists) on the season.
Despite the clutch performance, Peach continues to prioritize team success over any individual accolades:
“Obviously it was a big night for me,” said Peach postgame. “But it was a big night for the team as well…it’s a bigger night on that side than mine. We came out with the same mindset as last night, just tried to keep the pressure on them…It was nice to get the win, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Head Coach Dan Price echoed his forward’s message following the win:
“That was a full team effort,” said Price. “And that’s not a cliche. You look at one of the plays–30 seconds left in the second period–Prince George is punching, and Riley Gannon makes a huge shot block to preserve the lead. It was plays like that that really helped us win.”
It was also a big night for goaltender Tyler Palmer, who saved all 35 shots against on the way to his third career shutout.
Price commended his starting goaltenders resolve in facing the challenge of starting on back-to-back nights:
“That’s not easy to do for a goalie,” said Price. “Working with our goalie coaches, Lynden [Sammartino] and Kai [McDonald], working with the whole performance team, JT [Ward], Kurtis [Freter], J.F. [Best], making sure he was fully mentally recovered, and you could really see it in his concentration and compete level tonight.”
Forward Tarun Fizer extended his point streak to six games in the win, counting assists on two Bailey Peach goals. The Chestermere, AB product now has 44 points (14 goals, 30 assists) through 29 games in 2021-2022.
On the other side, Prince George goalie Tyler Brennan made 25 of 27 saves as his team dropped their second straight.
Peach would break the scoreless draw at 15:48 of the first after the majority of the frame passed without incident. The Falmouth, NS native counted his 31st goal of the campaign and handed his team the 1-0 lead heading into period two, with Tarun Fizer and Luke Shipley counting the assists.
The game would hold at 1-0 until the 19:12 mark of the second when Peach would extend the lead to 2-0 with his second of the night and third of the season. Once again it was Fizer on the primary assist, this time joined by defenceman Kalem Parker.
The Bailey Peach show would continue in the third, as he slammed the door shut on the Cougars with an empty net goal at the 18:05 mark, completing the hat trick with his 33rd goal of the season and securing the 3-0 win.
The win vaults the Royals into a playoff spot as they trade places with the Cougars following the back-to-back wins. Their record now sits at 19-34-5-1 with 44 points on the year.
Meanwhile, Prince George falls out of the playoff picture, now sitting ninth in the West with a 20-34-2-1 record with 43 points.
The Cougars will take the next six days off before coming back to the Island for another pair of weekend contests against the Royals on Mar. 25 and 26.
Meanwhile, Victoria will take a short rest before hosting Kelowna for a two-game midweek set on Tuesday, Mar. 22 and Wednesday Mar. 23.