The Prince George Cougars completed the island sweep on Saturday, beating the Victoria Royals 4-1 at Save on Foods Memorial Centre for their fourth-straight win.
The Cougars (4-3-0-0) outscored the Royals 9-2 over their two-game set in downtown Victoria. The two teams head back north to face-off in a midweek double in Prince George starting on Tuesday.
Blake Eastman scored the game-winner with three and half minutes left in the second period, and Koehn Ziemmer and Connor Bowie added two more in the third. Rookie forward Liekit Reichle broke the ice, as he scored his first career WHL goal in the opening frame. Goaltender Taylor Gauthier was sharp in the Cougars’ crease, as the 20-year-old stopped 28 shots for his second win.
Despite the victory, the Cougars did not have a single power-play on Saturday.
“Really impressed with our group. We showed a lot of maturity by the way we played, we did the right things and locked it down in the third period,” said Associate Coach Josh Dixon. “We did a good job of managing our emotions and did a good job of managing the game.”
Reichle put the Cougars ahead 1-0 5:48 into the first period. The Swiss product scored from the face-off circle as he snuck his shot between the goalie’s arm and the post.
Victoria tied it on a power-play goal by Carter Briltz at 9:19 of the first and it stayed 1-1 late into the middle frame.
Eastman’s game-winner came at 16:30 of the second and it happened because the Cougars benefited from a little bit of puck luck. The Royals tried to reverse the puck behind their own net, but Ryker Singer reached in with his stick and helped deflect the puck out front, where it jetted right to Eastman who had a tap in from inside the crease.
Koehn Ziemmer, who assisted on Reichle’s goal in the first, scored an insurance marker late in the third period. Craig Armstrong spotted Ziemmer streaking down the left-wing and he forced his shot underneath the goalie’s pad at 14:17 to make it 3-1. Bowie added an empty-net goal inside the final two minutes to put the game to bed.
Saturday was the Cougars first win in Victoria since December 2, 2019, and their first four-game win streak since January 17, 2017.
NEXT GAME: The Cougars return home for two more games against the Royals, starting on Tuesday at the CN Centre. Tickets start at just $16 and are available at the TicketsNorth box office, by phone (1-888-293-6613), or online at www.ticketsnorth.ca