Prince George Cougars
The Prince George Cougars fell short in the rematch with the Victoria Royals, losing 5-2 Saturday night at Save on Foods Memorial Centre. The Royals’ Phillip Schultz scored twice in the third period to break a 2-2 tie. This after the Cougars fell 4-3 on Friday.
Josh Maser and Jack Sander scored for the Cougars who are now winless in their last five games. Taylor Gauthier was tagged with the loss, stopping 27 of 31 shots. Maser and Sander scored four-minutes apart in the second period to erase a 2-0 deficit. Maser matching his career-high with his 28th of the season. Sander scoring his first goal since January 11th.
The Royals clinched not only clinched a playoff spot but home ice advantage in the first-round as well with their win. Ralph Jarratt, Carson Miller and Igor Martynov (empty-net) also scored for the Royals. Rookie netminder Brock Gould stopped 32 of 34 shots for the win.
Special teams were the storyline in the first period, in particular the Royals’ power-play, which scored on its first two opportunities. The Royals went up 2-0 in the first half the opening frame on goals from Jarratt and Miller. Their two power-play goals coming just over three-minutes part.
After being outscored 2-0 and outshot 13-4 in the first period, the Cougars turned things around in the middle frame. Josh Maser extended his goal scoring streak to six-games, as he scored on a breakaway at 4:54. Then, Sander snuck a wrist-shot through a crowd and past Gould at 9:03. After a sluggish first period, the Cougars peppered the Royals, firing 17-shots on net and went into the intermission tied 2-2.
The Royals then turned the tables on the Cougars in the third period, coming out and scoring two goals in the first six-minutes to go up 4-2. Schultz scored 14-seconds into the frame after firing the puck off the glove of Gauthier from the goal-line. Then, he scored his second of the frame in a more conventional matter, a wrist-shot from the slot, at 5:49. Martynov put the finishing touches on the win with an empty-net goal at 16:41.
The Royals wind up winning eight of nine games against the Cougars this season. Josh Maser will miss playing Victoria, as he now has 17 points (12-5-17) in 19 career regular games against the Royals.
Royals [1-0] Ralph Jarratt (6) from Kody McDonald and Igor Martynov 7:42 PP
Royals [2-0] Carson Miller (13) from D-Jay Jerome and Jake Kustra PP
Cougars [2-1] Josh Maser (28) from Reid Perepeluk 4:54
Cougars [2-2] Jack Sander (2) from Cole Beamin and Jackson Leppard 9:03
Royals [3-2] Phillip Schultz (17) from Igor Martynov and Carson Miller :14
Royals [4-2] Phillip Schultz (18) from Carson Miller
Royals [5-2] Igor Martynov Phillip Schultz and Jameson Murray 16:41 EN
Cougars- Taylor Gauthier (Loss) 27/31 55:33
Royals- Brock Gould (Win) 32/34 60:00
UP NEXT: The Cougars (17-39-5-3) return home to face-off against the Portland Winterhawks in a weekend doubleheader, starting Friday March 8th. It’s WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation night, presented by RE/MAX. The Cougars will be wearing specialty, Don Cherry-themed jerseys that will be auctioned off online after the game. Tickets are available at the TicketsNorthby Treasure Cove Casino box office, or online at www.ticketsnorth.ca