The Royals pounced on the Prince George Cougars in a 5–1 victory Saturday night.
The first period kicked off with Prince George scoring their first and only goal of the night, just four minutes in. The remaining 15 minutes was a hard-fought battle for the Royals to score, but the first period ended 0–1.
Though the night began on a rough note, the second period saw the beginning of an uninterrupted series of goals. First, Sean Gulka snuck in a goal past Cougars goalie Taylor Gauthier around three minutes in.
Just 29 seconds later, Logan Doust sunk another puck past, giving the Royals the lead. This set a new Royals’ season high for the fastest goals back to back. Just before the period ended, Keanu Derungs shot one under Gauthier’s arm to bring the score to 3–1.
The third period began with a scrap between Royals’ Graeme Byrks and Cougars’ Josh Maser. On a powerplay, Kaid Oliver scored the fourth goal of the night for the Royals, with assistance from Gary Haden. In a Déjà vu moment, Oliver and Haden scored another goal just a minute later, halfway through the final period.
The game ended 5–1 for the Royals, making the match the Cougars’ first win by more than two points this season. Also, Royals’ forward Gary Haden and defenceman Jacob Herauf both played in their 200th career WHL regular season game.
Victoria will now head out on a five-game, 12-day BC Division road trip with stops in Kamloops, Vancouver and Kelowna. The Royals’ first game of the trip is on Monday, Dec. 30 against the Kamloops Blazers. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.
The Royals return to the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre for a four-game homestand beginning Jan. 10. Victoria hosts the Portland Winterhawks on Friday, Jan. 10 and Saturday, Jan. 11, followed by a pair of games vs. the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday, Jan. 4 and Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Puck drop for all four games is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Select Your Tickets box office, over the phone by calling 250-220-7777, or online at www.selectyourtickets.com.
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