They had their chances, but any hope at beating a B.C. Division rival dwindled in the third period once again.
The Prince George Cougars were down by three goals going into the final frame and despite getting 19 shots to the net and scoring two in the process, they could not solve the Victoria Royals and lost 4-3 on the road Friday night (March 1).
Prince George goaltender Taylor Gauthier was pulled the middle stanza for a second consecutive game after allowing four goals on 18 shots.
Isaiah DiLaura came in his place and stopped all 10 shots he faced in the contest.
On the other side, northern B.C. netminder Griffen Outhouse got his 26th win of the season, making 32 saves on 35 shots from Prince George.
Victoria lit the first two lamps less than three minutes apart before Josh Maser scored his team-leading 27th of the year while on a power-play to cut the lead in half (2-1).
This is the fifth straight game the Houston, B.C. native has scored a goal, recording six points in that same span.
The Royals would regain the two-goal advantage on a power-play of their own and would pot the only second-period marker to make it 4-1.
Prince George’s comeback began two minutes into the third, thanks to Matej Toman’s eighth goal of the year and his fourth point in as many games, but they wouldn’t get another until 34 seconds remaining in the clock.
Reid Perepeluk put the Cougars within reach of tie, but there simply wasn’t enough time to complete the task, leading to the team’s fourth straight loss.
On Wednesday (Feb. 27), the Cats were officially eliminated from playoff contention in the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Friday’s loss in Victoria drops their record to 17-38-5-3 with five games left in the 2018-19 season and still at the bottom of the WHL’s Western Conference.
Prince George finishes the doubleheader in the provincial capital tonight (March 2), 7:05 p.m. from the Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena.