Tyler Soy scored twice and Alex Forsberg three assists to help the visiting Victoria Royals come from behind to beat the Prince George Cougars 4-3 Saturday.
“Thought we stayed with our game plan, played a hard, physical and fast game but we wanted to make sure that when our power play got opportunities it had to be good tonight.” Said Head Coach Dave Lowry
Victoria earns a split of the two game set after falling 1-0 a night earlier and regain sole possession of 2nd in the West, two points up on Prince George.
“We leave here back in 2nd place, for us that’s critical,” said Lowry,
“This is a tough building to win in, and right now it’s a potential first round match up. For us we have to know that we can come up here, and it is a tough environment, – and if you play a certain way you can win in this building.”
The Royals jumped to 2-0 lead, but the Cougars scored the next three to take their first lead. Soy struck just :42 seconds later to tie the game heading into the third.
“It’s huge, with the points and the standings so close, every game is so important. We have to make sure we’re getting wins and create a gap between us.” Said Soy who now has 19 goals.
Mathew Phillips had a goal and assist, including the eventual winner early in the third period on the power play. Phillips remains 2nd in rookie scoring with 45 points, and tied for the most goals by a freshman with 22.
Griffen Outhouse made 29 saves for the win, while Ty Edmonds stopped 31 of 35 in the defeat.
The Royals were 2 for 3 with the man advantage, while the Cougars went 1 for 2.
“Execution,” said Lowry on the difference with the man advantage from one night earlier,
“We made a couple changes, but also talked about the importance of special teams, especially last night it could’ve been the difference…tonight we didn’t want to make the same mistake.”
Joe Hicketts had a pair of assists, both with the man advantage to set the franchise record for power play assists by a defenseman with 58, passing Brandon Manning.
“They’re a big, physical, chirpy team…so when it’s time for playoffs and start fighting for that seeding, I think it was good that we learned to play like that.” Said Hicketts.
“I thought our power play did a really good job for us – anytime you win the special teams game, it gives you a chance to win.”
Dante Hannoun scored the other goal for Victoria, as his line with Forsberg and Phillips combined for 6 points.
The Royals return home to open a six game home stand Friday and Saturday against the Rockets.
– Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 4 at Prince George Cougars 3 – Status: End of Game
Saturday, January 9, 2016 – CN Centre – Prince George, BC
Victoria 2 1 1 – 4
Prince George 1 2 0 – 3
1, Victoria, Soy 18 (Forsberg, Hicketts), 4:01 (PP).
2, Victoria, Hannoun 17 (Phillips, Forsberg), 16:40.
3, Prince George, Bethune 13 (Morrison), 18:03.
Penalties-Bethune P.g (slashing), 2:06.
4, Prince George, Gabrielle 27 (Olson, O’Brien), 4:43 (PP).
5, Prince George, Harkins 10 (Morrison, Bethune), 16:07.
6, Victoria, Soy 19 (Walker, Reddekopp), 16:49.
Penalties-Reddekopp Vic (interference), 4:10; Olson P.g (slashing), 12:48.
7, Victoria, Phillips 22 (Forsberg, Hicketts), 7:20 (PP).
Penalties-McAuley P.g (cross checking), 6:45; Reddekopp Vic (instigator, major-fighting, game misconduct), 18:18; Ruopp P.g (major-fighting), 18:18.
Shots on Goal-
Prince George 7-11-14-32.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 2 / 3;
Prince George 1 / 2.
Victoria, Outhouse 7-3-1-1 (32 shots-29 saves).
Prince George, Edmonds 13-8-1-0 (35 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Mike Campbell (89), Fraser Lawrence (10).
Linesmen-Nick Albinati (3), Tom Henetiuk (140).