The Prince George had their three-game win streak come to an end on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to the Victoria Royals at Prospera Place in Kelowna.
Connor Bowie scored the lone Cougars’ goal, on the power-play, late in the second period. Rookie goaltender Ty Young is still in search of his first win, as he was saddled with the loss after he stopped 19 of 21 shots. The Cougars’ power-play went 1-3 and the penalty-kill was 2-3. Prince George did concede a short-handed goal.
It was a game highlighted by special teams, as all three goals came either on power-play or shorthanded.
“It’s obviously disappointing. Our goaltender was really good for us but the rest of our group struggled to get momentum and be engaged right from the start,” said Associate Coach Jason Smith. “We didn’t have the focus, the proper preperation to give ourselves a chance to win, it was close in the end, but it’s a sixty-minute game and we didn’t play it.”
The loss drops the Cougars’ overall record to 9-8-2-1 and they finish the six-game season series against the Royals with 3-1-2-0 record. Prince George remains in third place in the RE/MAX B.C. Hub standings after the Vancouver Giants lost 3-1 to the Kamloops Blazers.
The win was just the Royals (3-15-1-1) third in 20 games and their first in regulation. Their previous two wins, both against the Cougars, came in overtime.
After a scoreless first period, Victoria grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second period, on the back of their special teams. Brandon Cutler opened the scoring in the second period with a shorthanded marker at 5:24. Keanu Derungs then doubled the Royals lead with a power-play tally at 16:23.
Bowie cut the deficit in half before the second period expired, with a power-play goal at 19:21. The Cougars entered the third period down 2-1 and fired 15 shots on net but were held off the scoresheet.
The Cougars did welcome back forwards Kyren Gronick and Jonny Hooker to the line-up. Gronick had missed five games with an upper-body injury and Hooker missed four games due to suspension.
Cougars: Bowie (PP)
Royals: Cutler (SH), Derungs (PP)
Cougars: Ty Young, 58:29, 19 saves, 21 shots
Royals: Adam Evanoff, 60:00, 33 saves, 34 shots
Three Stars: 1) Adam Evanoff 2) Brandon Cutler 3) Connor Bowie
Next Game: Sunday, May 9, versus the Kelowna Rockets at 6 p.m. (Sandman Centre).