Cougars earn split against Royals

Prince George Cougars photo
Prince George Cougars photo

The Prince George Cougars are leaving Vancouver Island with a split against the Victoria Royals, after their 7-1 loss Thursday at Save on Foods Memorial Centre.

The Cougars earned a 5-3 win one night ago against the Royals, and have taken five out of a possible eight points against the Royals this season. The two teams don’t meet again until March.

Josh Maser scored the Cougars only goal, his 15th of the season, in the first period on a power-play, tying Kody McDonald for the team goal-scoring lead. Taylor Gauthier started the game, and was replaced by Isaiah DiLaura in the third period after allowing seven goals on 24-shots in 46-minutes of work.

The Royals power-play was the Cougars undoing, as Victoria scored three times on their first four power-play opportunities and they finished the game three-for-six on the man-advantage.

Matthew Phillips scored twice for Victoria, and they got goals from five others, including newcomer Jeff de Wit, who was acquired from the Kootenay Ice on Wednesday. Griffen Outhouse picked up his 19th win, stopping 23 of 25 shots in 52-minutes of action, before being spelled off by Dean McNabb.

The Royals started the game with a bang, scoring twice in 29-seconds five-minutes into the first period. Dino Kambeitz tipped in Chaz Reddekopp’s shot from the blue-line at 5:28 on their first power-play. Half a minute later, Phillips scored his first of two, pouncing on a rebound in front of the Cougars net after a shot from the point was knocked down in front of Gauthier.

Maser cut the deficit in half, scoring his team-leading seventh power-play goal, 53-seconds after Phillips’ goal. Maser just got a piece of Kody McDonald’s point-shot, getting the puck to go up and over the glove of Outhouse at 6:50.

The Royals, and Phillips did more damage on the power-play, as the Victoria Captain scored his second of the game at 16:19 to put the home side up 3-1 after 20-minutes. Phillips played give-and-go down the right-wing with de Wit, before sneaking a shot five-hole on Gauthier.

Victoria added two more goals in the back half of the second period. Spencer Gerth got a piece of a point shot at 10:30 to make it 4-1, and then Tyler Soy scored on a one-timer on another power-play at 17:52, to make it 5-1 through two periods.

One of the newest Royals, Jeff de Wit, shoveled in a rebound after a three-on-two rush early in the third period to make it 6-1, then Jeremy Masella redirected another point-shot two-minutes later at 6:08 to cap off the scoring. After that seventh goal, DiLaura came in to replace Gauthier and stopped six-shots in nearly 14-minutes of work.

Final Score: 7-1 Royals

Shots: 29-24 Royals

Power-Plays: Cougars 1-6 Royals 3-6

Three Stars: 1) Jeff de Wit 2) Chaz Reddekopp 3) Matt Phillips

Victoria picked up their first win since December 10th, when the edged Prince George 5-4 in overtime at the CN Centre. With his goal Thursday, Josh Maser now has five goals and seven points in four games against Victoria.

Prince George (13-18-3-2) is off Friday, before facing the Vancouver Giants on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre. Fans can listen to the game on 94.3 The GOAT, or they can watch online via WHL Live.

-Prince George Cougars

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