Maybe they were camera shy, knowing whatever transpired on the ice in Victoria was being beamed live on national TV for the folks back home.
Maybe they just forgot about the hard work it took a couple weeks ago when they held their WHL opponents to just two goals in a four-game stretch.
The Prince George Cougars seemed mesmerized, caught in a downward spiral that had them trailing 4-0 to the Victoria Royals by the end of the first period. The Cats came close to climbing out of the deep dark hole, scoring three goals in the second period to make a game of it, but eventually fell 5-4 to the Royals Wednesday nights.
Logan Nelson, the Royals' leading scorer, got credit for the winner, five minutes into the third period with beauty of a backhander, his eighth of the season to prolong a six-game scoring streak. Cougars rookie Jansen Harkins answered back less than a minute later, collecting his own rebound for his second WHL goal but that's as close as it got.
The loss dropped the Cougars' season record to 5-6-0-1. The Royals (8-5-0-0) extended their winning streak to five and continue to lead the B.C. Division.
It took just 49 seconds for the Royals to begin running roughshod over the Cougars, trying to make amends for their 3-0 loss to the Royals in the same building on Monday afternoon. Left unguarded in front of the net, Brandon Fushimi swatted in a rebound to open the scoring.
The Royals continued to apply the pressure, forcing the Cougars into more mental mistakes and that resulted in penalty trouble. Before the game was 14 minutes old, Luke Harrison and Austin Carroll each scored, chasing Cougar goalie Brett Zarowny from the game. Ty Edmonds took his place in the crease but Royals rookie Tyler Soy struck with the fourth goal on Victoria power play.
At that point, it seemed a done deal, the Cougars barely clinging to life.
The comeback started three minutes into the second period with an innocent-looking slap shot from Chase Witala that fooled goalie Patrik Polivka, who came into the game sporting a perfect 7-0 record in his career against the Cougars.
After successfully killing off a full two minutes being shorthanded two players early in the second, the Cougars answered back with a two-man power-play goal from captain Troy Bourke that came five seconds before Ben Walker had served his sentence. Just after Royals defenceman Keegan Kanzig returned to the ice, the Cougars scored again to make it a 4-3 game. Marc McNulty got credit for the goal and Bourke made sure it was in, knocking the puck out of the air into the net. Witala finished with two assists for a three-point night.
Shots were even at 28 apiece. The Royals went 2-for-7 on the power play, while the Cougars were 1-for-6.
The Cougars' roadtrip resumes Friday night in Seattle against the Thunderbirds (8-3-0-0), who lost 3-1 Wednesday in Kamloops. The Cats play Saturday in Kelowna.