The Victoria Royals and the Prince George Cougars clashed on Saturday with Prince George winning 3-0. This was the second game out of two against the Cougars; the first the Royals were able to come up big and win 4-2. Both teams are fighting in the standings trying to keep their playoffs hopes alive. With the Royals sitting in 7th place and the Cougars in 8th it was a critical game, and so forth for the rest of the season. Keep in mind that the Royals have played a couple more games than most teams fighting for a playoff spot, emphasizing that every game matters. Prince George Cougars goaltender Tyler Brennan stopped all 24 shots against in a 3-0 victory over the Victoria Royals on Saturday securing his fourth shutout of the season. Whereas Royals Starting goaltender Campbell Arnold would make 16 of 19 stops in the loss.
“The guys are pretty tired,” said Royals coach Dan Price postgame. Definitely not going to use that as an excuse, you never accept a loss, but I thought the effort was really good, the execution wasn’t quite there, you could see the fatigue at times–little passes we usually make or shots we’d usually get off just weren’t quite there.”
Despite racking up six minutes in penalties during the first, Prince George found themselves holding a 2-0 advantage early in the game. Forward Craig Armstrong would count the first goal, scoring his 12th of the season while shorthanded at 9:59. This would be followed by a Riley Heidt scoring on the powerplay putting his team up by two heading into the second The Cougars would extend their lead to start the second period with a goal by forward Blake Eastman at the 47 seconds into the period. The remainder of the game remained scoreless with a Prince George goal being overturned for offside.
The win improves the Cougars’ record to 21-35-2-1 on the season, putting them in sole possession of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference with 45 points. They will head to Vancouver for another road game against the Vancouver Giants tomorrow night. Meanwhile, the Royals remain in a fight for sixth place with the Giants–who also suffered a loss on Saturday. Their record now standing at 22-35-5-1 with 50 points overall. Victoria gets to finally rest and face off against Kelowna on the road next Friday for two games against the 5th place Rockets.