Colby McAuley scored twice and Ty Edmonds made 30 saves as the visiting Prince George Cougars defeated the Victoria Royals 3-1 Friday night.
“Maybe we weren’t expecting the pace tonight, I think we looked a little surprised early, and that’s going to happen when you have a young group…” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
“Our guys will come back tomorrow, we’ll be ready to play…after giving up the first couple goals our guys came and competed real hard.”
Forward Ty Westgard scored the lone goal for the Royals, his first in the WHL.
“It was nice getting that first one,” said White Rock native Westgard and former BCHL Surrey Eagle,
“We started out a bit slow as a team, but we got our legs moving in the 2nd and 3rd and we’ve got good momentum moving on.”
Victoria outshot Prince George 31-20 overall and 14-4 in the middle frame but could not overcome a 2-0 first period deficit on banner raising night.
Both clubs were missing core players away at NHL training camps. The Royals were still without Tyler Soy (ANH), Jack Walker (TOR), Chaz Reddekopp (LA) and WHL Rookie of the Year Matthew Phillips (CGY). Victoria dressed 5 rookies and had 7 new faces in the line up. Prince George still had 6 players away at NHL camps.
The Cougars were without Captain Sam Ruopp (CBJ), Jansen Harkins (WPG), 40 goal man Jesse Gabriele (BOS), Brogan O’Brien (COL), Tate Olson (VAN), and Duncan product, defenseman Josh Anderson (COL).
The Royals power play went 0 for 9, but shut down all ‘Cats man advantages.
“Power play this time of year is all about work and simplifying things – we tried to make plays that weren’t there,” said Lowry,
“Remember one thing, I got a lot of guys that are young and may not be on the play power play every night. Good for them. They tried, they created, they tried their best.”
Griffen Outhouse suffered the loss stopping 17 of 19 shots directed his way.
Max Martin notched the other tally for Prince George.
The two clubs will meet again Saturday night at 7:05 at the SOFMC.
– Marlon Martens
Prince George Cougars 3 at Victoria Royals 1 – Status: Final
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena – Victoria, BC
Prince George 2 0 1 – 3
Victoria 0 1 0 – 1
1, Prince George, Martin 1 (Morrison, McDonald), 6:53.
2, Prince George, McAuley 1 (Khomenko, Almeida), 9:49.
Penalties-McDonald Pg (interference), 4:30; Peckford Vic (hooking), 12:57; Morrison Pg (slashing, slashing), 15:00; Walford Vic (slashing), 15:00; Kadlec Pg (elbowing), 18:48.
3, Victoria, Westgard 1 (Price, Gagnon), 15:03.
Penalties-Johnson Pg (slashing), 4:12; Dmytriw Vic (checking from behind), 8:29; McAuley Pg (tripping), 8:47; Martin Pg (hooking), 15:50.
4, Prince George, McAuley 2 (McDonald, Curtis), 19:03 (EN).
Penalties-Peckford Vic (checking to the head), 1:28; McDonald Pg (tripping), 3:46; McDonald Pg (tripping), 11:07; Martin Pg (boarding), 12:38; Collins Pg (roughing), 19:45; Oliver Vic (roughing, inter. on goaltender), 19:45.
Shots on Goal-
Prince George 7-4-9-20.
Power Play Opportunities-
Prince George 0 / 4;
Victoria 0 / 9.
Prince George, Edmonds 1-0-0-0 (31 shots-30 saves).
Victoria, Outhouse 0-1-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Ryan Benbow (62), Sean Raphael (28).
Linesmen-Riley Friesen (76), Kirk Van Helvoirt (107).