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Samson lifts Cougars to crucial win over Royals in home finale

James Doyle photo

The Prince George Cougars (23-38-4-1) picked up two huge points in their 2-1 win over the Victoria Royals at the CN Centre on Saturday.

With the victory, the Cougars leapfrogged over the Royals and Vancouver Giants and moved into a tie for sixth place with the Spokane Chiefs.

“It certainly was a massive win, that’s for sure. It was a tough game, felt a bit like a chess match,” said Cougars’ General Manager & Head Coach. “Our energy was good, we played within our structure, [Ty] Young was good. We scored a power play goal.  It played out perfectly. Huge win,” remarked Lamb.

Saturday was the Cougars’ final regular season home game, and they gave their fans something to cheer about. Ethan Samson sent over 2,700 at the CN Centre into a frenzy, as he scored the game-winner on the power play at 13:29 of the third period. Samson’s blast from the blue line broke a 1-1 deadlock and was his 15th goal of the season.

Jonny Hooker scored in the first period for Prince George, as he leveled the game at ones with his 16th of the season at 11:33. Hooker jammed in a rebound from inside the Royals’ crease.

The Cougars’ best player Saturday was Ty Young. The 17-year-old puck stopper was excellent, as he stopped 29 shots for his fifth win of the season. He was at his bet in crunch time, as Young stopped all 10 shots faced in the third period. One of his best saves came in the third period off the Royals’ Evan Patrician. Young slid across to get his pad to the puck to help preserve the win.

Marcus Almquist scored for Victoria. Almquist opened the scoring just 1:27 into the first period. The loss was the Royals fourth-straight and they are now tied for eighth place with Vancouver.

Tyler Palmer suffered the loss in net for the Victoria, as the 18-year-old kicked out 21 of 23 shots.

NOTES

Prince George finished the 14-game season series against the Royals with a 10-4-0-0 record. Their home record in 34 games this season was 12-18-3-1. Ethan Samson’s now has eight power play goals, which is moves him into a share of the team lead with Jonny Hooker. In four starts against the Royals, Ty Young posted a 3-1-0-0 record and .926 save percentage.

Next Game: Friday, April 15, at Kamloops Blazers, 7 p.m.

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