In six periods of hockey so far this week the Cougars have registered 83 shots on goal.
But for a second straight night Griffen Outhouse stole the show for the Victoria Royals and kept the Cougars offence at bay. Wednesday night in Victoria the Royals scored a goal in each period en route to a 3-0 victory over the Cougars. For a second straight night the Cougars badly outshot the Royals but came up empty on all 40 of their attempts. Nick McBride stopped 22 of the 25 Victoria shots at the other end as the Cougars dropped both games of their double-header and are now 3-3 on the season against the Royals.
The shots after one period were 16-9 for the Cougars but for a second straight night the Royals struck first. At 8:42 of the first Jack Walker converted on his 18th of the season off a failed Cougars clear to put the home team ahead.
Mid-way through the second the Royals upped their lead to 2-0 when Leafs prospect Vladamir Bobylev deflected home a Regan Nagy point shot past Nick McBride for his first of the season. Bobylev’s goal came against the flow as the Cougars were all over the Royals in their end in the moments leading up to the insurance marker.
Late in the second the Cougars got into some penalty trouble and ended up killing off a 91 second five-on-three penalty against to keep themselves within striking distance. The shots were 29-19 after 40, but Griffen Outhouse and the Royals led 2-0.
Chaz Reddekopp notched the game’s final goal at the 4:09 mark of the third off the rush when he lefted a perfectly placed wrist shot under the crossbar and past McBride’s glove for his seventh of the season.
Tempers flared in the later stages of the game as Colby McAuley, Kody McDonald and Jesse Gabrielle were all involved in third period fights. For a sixth consecutive periods the Cougars outshot Victoria, but were unable to solve Griffen Outhouse on any of their 11 shot attempts. In six periods against Victoria during the double-header the Cougars were successful on one of their 83 shots. Conversely the Royals were eight for 49. Both teams finished the night zero-for-five on the power play.
With the loss the Cougars record now sits at 26-10-2-0. They remain six points ahead of the Kelowna Rockets for first place in the B.C. Division but they now trail the Everett Silvertips by two points for top spot overall in the Western Hockey League.
Now the Cougars will head to Everett to wrap up their three game road trip when they clash with the first place Silvertips on Friday night at the XFinity Center.
-Prince George Cougars