Compared to Friday (Nov. 9), the Prince George Cougars’ fourth contest against Victoria this 2019-20 season was more about defense than offense.
An interesting stat from yesterday’s 2-1 loss to the Royals was both clubs being held to under 20 shots on the scoreboard and there were a number of factors.
Blocked shots, too many passes, broken up plays and pucks getting caught in the corners were the most notable, but regardless, the Cougars found themselves once again on the losing side of their B.C. Division rivals by a single goal for the fourth time in four meetings.
This was also the fifth straight setback for Prince George as a result of getting swept in their three-game homestand at the CN Centre.
Goaltender Taylor Gauthier had a strong first period, mainly because he only saw three shots in his direction, but got busier as the evening progressed and eventually stopping 16 of 18 pucks.
On the other side, Royals’ Shane Farkas earned his fifth victory of the year by making 15 saves on 16 shots from Prince George.
The home side put on a show early on for the hometown heroes, first responders and military members in attendance for Heroes Night, scoring the game-opener just under three minutes in.
Josh Maser’s team-leading eighth goal ignited the crowd of over 3,000 as it was on his team’s first shot in the contest, potting a feed in front from Ilijah Colina and Cole Moberg.
Cougars held on for the 1-0 lead into the first intermission and over 12 minutes into the second period until Victoria scored on a power-play to even things up.
Kaid Oliver netted his second goal in as many nights, batting the puck mid-air just enough to float over the stick of Gauthier.
A giveaway in their own zone cost the Cougars the 1-1 tie as Sean Gulka stole the puck and scored it unassisted for the 2-1 lead that would remain the same until the final buzzer.
Prince George pulled Gauthier out of his net for the 77 second of regulation.
Their record drops to 4-13-0-2 overall and their home record to 2-8-0-1.
The Cougars will have a bit of a break before they head out on the road next weekend for games in Kamloops (Nov. 15) and Vancouver (Nov. 16).
They return home three days later on Tuesday, Nov. 19 for a clash against the league-leading Edmonton Oil Kings.
It’s also worth noting last night’s 50/50 prize, a total jackpot of $8,745, wasn’t claimed with the winning ticket number being GG-40606.
Fans are asked to double-check their tickets and to check the Prince George Cougars website for information on how to claim your prize.