The Royals were 0 for 9 on the power play, with 6 chances in the first and out shooting the 6th ranked team in the CHL, 14-8, but came out of the period tied at 1-1.
“Power play,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry, when asked what the difference was in the game,
“That game was to be had in the first 15 minutes, we had ample opportunity on the power play and didn’t execute. We had a 5 on 3 and didn’t score – we could’ve taken control of the game early…”
Prince George then outscored Victoria by a 2-1 margin in the middle frame taking a 3-2 lead to the third, before Gabrielle completed the 3 goal night for the final score of the game.
Twice the Royals came back to tie the game, on goals by Matthew Phillips on a breakaway in the first for his 20th, and Regan Nagy in the middle frame to tie it at 2-2.
“I thought we did a lot of good things, I really liked the way we battled back…”
Colby McAuley scored the eventual game winner with 2:39 left in the second.
“We turned it over in the neutral zone for the third goal (against) and didn’t have enough to get back.”
The line of Jansen Harkins (3a), Jared Bethune (1a) and Gabrielle (3g) collected 7 points.
Neither team struck with the man advantage, as the Royals shut down all 6 Cougar man advantages.
“I liked that side, I think we split the special teams games,” said Lowry when asked about the penalty killing.
Prince George owns the most efficient penalty kill in the league.
“I really believe that if we would’ve scored early in the first period on one of our power plays, it’s a different game.”
It was the first of back to games, with the Cougars owning a 3-0 season series lead after winning the first two on the Island to open the season in September.
“Some of our guys weren’t as sharp as they need to be at this time of year, but we’ll better tomorrow…if we’re going to win we need everybody playing, we need to able to play 4 lines, and if we don’t do that we can’t win.”
Victoria slips to 4th in the BC Division, 1 back of Kamloops (idle) and Kelowna who earned a point in Spokane after an overtime loss.
The Royals dropped their season high 4th in a row, while Cougars earned their 2nd straight victory.
Pregame show at 6:45 Saturday, puck drop at 7 in Prince George on The Zone @ 91.3 fm.
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 2 at Prince George Cougars 4 – Status: Final
Friday, December 2, 2016 – CN Centre – Prince George, BC
Victoria 1 1 0 – 2
Prince George 1 2 1 – 4
1, Prince George, Gabrielle 14 (Harkins, Anderson), 4:58.
2, Victoria, Phillips 20 (Peckford), 6:14.
Penalties-Curtis Pg (hooking), 1:04; Oliver Vic (roughing), 7:32; Gabrielle Pg (unsportsmanlike cnd., roughing), 7:32; Anderson Pg (high sticking), 8:56; Curtis Pg (high sticking, high sticking), 10:02; Ruopp Pg (hooking), 15:22; Gagnon Vic (interference), 19:34.
3, Prince George, Gabrielle 15 (Harkins, Lakusta), 14:39.
4, Victoria, Nagy 7 (Walker), 16:26.
5, Prince George, McAuley 12 (Collins), 17:21.
Penalties-Bethune Pg (tripping), 3:23; Masella Vic (cross checking), 5:14; Reddekopp Vic (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 5:14; Phillips Vic (high sticking), 8:48; Edmonds Pg (interference), 11:02; Walker Vic (interference), 11:55; Florchuk Vic (tripping), 12:34; Anderson Pg (roughing), 18:58.
6, Prince George, Gabrielle 16 (Bethune, Harkins), 4:10.
Shots on Goal-
Prince George 8-15-7-30.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 9;
Prince George 0 / 6.
Victoria, Outhouse 14-10-1-0 (30 shots-26 saves).
Prince George, Edmonds 16-3-1-0 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Tyler Adair (58), Fraser Lawrence (10).
Linesmen-Nick Albinati (3), Nick Bilko (66).