Matthew Phillips scored twice, including the overtime winner as the visiting Victoria Royals came from behind to beat the Prince George Cougars 5-4 Sunday afternoon.
“It was a character win for sure,” said Phillips who now leads the club with 50 points.
Down 3-0 after 40 minutes, the Royals stormed back on a pair of goals by Jared Freadrich, Phillips and Dino Kambietz who forced overtime. Tyler Soy and Igor Martynov had 3 assists each.
“It was a good example of perseverance from the group…” said Royals Head Coach Dan Price,
“Once the first goal went in, I thought there was a lot of belief on the bench…even when (PG scored their 4th goal) I felt like the belief was still there, didn’t feel like it deviated at all…just a really good effort from everyone to try to finish the job.”
Victoria had traveled all day Saturday, and was down veterans Dante Hannoun and Regan Nagy coming into the matinee.
“I felt in the third period it was more like us, more aggressive, faster pace, more physical, more pucks to the net…and that was good sign.”
Griffen Outhouse earned the win with 30 saves including a penalty shot off of Josh Curtis in the 2nd period. Rookie Taylor Gauthier stopped 24 of 29 in the loss.
Prince George was 3 for 5 on the power play, while Victoria was 1 for 7 against the leagues 3rd best penalty kill.
The Royals have now won back to back games, while the Cougars had their 2 game win streak halted.
— PG Cougars (@PGCougars) December 11, 2017
Josh Maser scored a hat trick for the home team, including the teddy bear toss goal. Jackson Leppard added a single for the Cougars.
20 year old Brogan O’Brien didn’t return Sunday and the team confirmed post-game he suffered a lower-body injury.
It was the first of 8 meetings of the season, and the two clubs will clash again Tuesday night in Prince George.
The Cougars will also be without captain Dennis Cholowski, as the Detroit 1st round pick leaves for Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Selection Camp in St. Catherines, Ontario Dec 12th – 15th.
– Marlon Martens
Raining Teddies – Today’s contest was the Cougars’ Teddy Bear Toss game. This is the third Teddy Bear Toss that Victoria has been involved in this season. The Royals’ event was on Friday night against the Kootenay ICE, while the club also took part in the Lethbridge Hurricanes’ Teddy Bear Toss last week.
Belarusian Reunion – A trio of Belarusian skaters played in today’s game. Victoria’s Igor Martynov, and Prince George’s Vladislav Mikhalchuk and Pavel Azhgirei were all teammates with the Belarus Under-18 National Team in the 2017 U-18 World Championships.
Helping Hand – Royals’ netminder Griffen Outhouse recorded his third career WHL point tonight with an assist on the game winning goal. Outhouse has tallied a helper in each of his three seasons, most recently on February 10, 2017 against the Kamloops Blazers.
Overtime Magic – Victoria’s overtime win marked the second time in the 2017-18 season that the Royals have taken down their opponent in the extra frame. Matthew Phillips scored the game-winning goal in each of them.
Penalty Shot Stopper – Griffen Outhouse’s penalty shot save in the second period marked the second time this season that he has faced a penalty shot. Outhouse also stopped Brayden Burke of the Moose Jaw Warriors on November 28th.
Powerplay Specialist – With a powerplay goal in the third period, Royals’ defenseman Jared Freadrich recorded his fifth goal and 14th point while on the man-advantage. The Camrose, AB native leads all Victoria blueliners in powerplay goals and points.
Next Game – The Royals and Cougars will square off again on Tuesday night at the CN Centre with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Home Sweet Home – Victoria returns home on Saturday, December 16th as they take on the Vancouver Giants in their last home game before the holiday break. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Select Your Tickets box office, over the phone by calling 250-220-7777, or online at www.selectyourtickets.com.
TEXT GAME SUMMARY:
Victoria Royals 5 (OT) at Prince George Cougars 4 – Status: Final OT
Sunday, December 10, 2017 – CN Centre – Prince George, BC
Victoria 0 0 4 1 – 5
Prince George 1 2 1 0 – 4
1, Prince George, Maser 10 (O’Brien, Cholowski), 13:41 (PP).
Penalties-Cholowski Pg (holding), 9:52; Jarratt Vic (boarding), 13:28; O’Rourke Pg (slashing), 18:04.
2, Prince George, Leppard 7 (Lakusta, Mikhalchuk), 5:17.
3, Prince George, Maser 11 (Curtis, O’Brien), 17:07 (PP).
Penalties-Lakusta Pg (interference), 1:52; Boyd Pg (high sticking), 6:31; Schoettler Pg (slashing), 14:12; Soy Vic (tripping), 15:54; Oliver Vic (roughing), 20:00; Bethune Pg (roughing), 20:00.
4, Victoria, Phillips 22 (Soy, Martynov), 4:06.
5, Victoria, Freadrich 7 (Martynov, Oliver), 5:39 (PP).
6, Victoria, Freadrich 8 (Martynov, Soy), 9:37.
7, Prince George, Maser 12 (Schoettler, Bethune), 12:12 (PP).
8, Victoria, Kambeitz 6 (Legien), 15:12.
Penalties-Martynov Vic (hooking), 1:56; Jensen Vic (roughing), 3:16; Maser Pg (roughing), 3:16; Lakusta Pg (slashing), 5:22; Jensen Vic (major-kneeing, game misconduct), 7:19; Leppard Pg (unsportsmanlike cnd.), 7:19; Boyd Pg (hooking), 8:06.
9, Victoria, Phillips 23 (Soy, Outhouse), 1:55.
Penalties-Walford Vic (roughing), 0:38; Schoettler Pg (holding), 0:38.
Shots on Goal-
Prince George 14-7-11-2-34.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 1 / 7;
Prince George 3 / 4.
Victoria, Outhouse 18-6-3-0 (34 shots-30 saves).
Prince George, Gauthier 4-5-1-1 (29 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Chris Crich (20), Nick Swaine (35).
Linesmen-Nick Albinati (3), Alex Teichroeb (133)