BY FRASER RODGERS
Prince George Cougars
The Prince George Cougars are leaving Vancouver Island with their first point on the season after a 3-2 shootout loss to the Victoria Royals on Saturday night.
Saturday, the Cougars (0-3-0-1) led 1-0 through the opening period, courtesy of an Ethan Browne goal and were tied with the Royals (2-1-0-0) through 40-minutes. After going down 2-1 with less than two-minutes left in regulation, it was Ryan Schoettler who played hero, as he tied the game with just 17-seconds left on the clock to force overtime.
Taylor Gauthier followed up last night’s strong performance with another solid outing Saturday, as he kicked-out 31 of 33 shots through 65-mintues and was named the game’s second star. He posted a .941 save percentage in his two starts against the Royals this weekend.
Keanu Derungs and Carson Miller scored in regulation for the Royals and Shane Farkas stopped 25 of 27 shots fired his way in the Victoria crease; he was the game’s first star. Gary Haden scored the shootout winner in the bottom of the fourth-round to clinch the extra point.
Browne opened the scoring nine-minutes into the first period, scooping a rebound over the goalie’s glove for his first of the season. He was also the only Cougar to score in the four rounds of the shootout. Browne’s first period goal came in his 100th career regular season game.
A day after playing his 200th game, Schoettler scored his first goal of the year with 17-seconds left in regulation. On a power-play and with Taylor Gauthier on the bench for the extra skater, it was Schoettler’s seeing-eye point shot that found its way through a crowd and over Farkas’ on the stick side.
Overtime solved nothing but the Cougars did outshoot the Royals 5-4 in the extra frame. Prince George dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen Saturday. It also was Joe Kennedy’s first WHL game.
The Cougars now returns home to face the Kelowna Rockets on October 4th & 5th in a weekend doubleheader. Single game tickets are on-sale and start at just $13, and there is also great senior and youth pricing. Tickets are on sale at the TicketsNorth by Treasure Cove Casino box office, or online at www.ticketsnorth.ca
Cougars [1-0] Ethan Browne (1) from Josh Maser and Ryan Schoettler 9:02
Royals [1-1] Keanu Derungs (2) from Logan Doust and Brandon Cutler 13:36 (power-play)
Royals [2-1] Carson Miller (2) from Graeme Bryks and Jacob Herauf 18:33
Cougars [2-2] Ryan Schoettler (1) from Rhett Rhinehart 19:43 (power-play)
Three Stars: 1) Shane Farkas 2) Taylor Gauthier 3) Keanu Derungs