The Prince George Cougars came back from two one-goal deficits and managed to earn one point in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Victoria Royals. Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek scored in the shootout and goaltender Keith Hamilton made 47 saves in the victory for Victoria.
The Cats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Jarrett Fontaine’s first ever WHL goal opened the scoring at 5:08 of the first period. A minute and 29 seconds later, Troy Bourke scored from behind the Victoria goal and gave Prince George a quick 2-0 lead.
Victoria bounced back with two of their own starting first with Logan Nelson’s second of the season. Robin Soudek added his third of the young season at 13:48, and the teams skated into the locker-room tied 2-2 after 20 minutes.
Early in the second Brandon Magee gave Victoria their first lead of the hockey game with Soudek and Sundher both drawing the assists.
The Royals may have led, but the Cougars held a decisive edge in the shots category, and at one point were outshooting Victoria 34-14.
Prince George nearly tied the game when Taylor Thompson was awarded a penalty shot midway through the second, but was unable to beat Hamilton on a back-hand attempt.
The Cougars evened the score at three at 12:52 of the second when Charles Inglis put home a rebound off a Nick Buonassisi shot. Dan Gibb got the play going by keeping the puck in at the blueline and then creating the play from behind the Victoria goal.
It was 3-3 after 40 minutes.
The Royals grabbed their lead back at 7:34 when Steven Hodges scored on a short-handed breakaway.
The Cougars pulled their goalie with 1:15 left on the clock and it worked. Martin Marincin slid a pass across the point to Cody Carlson who one-timed one on net, and there was Alex Forsberg to gobble up the rebound and score his very first WHL regular season goal to tie the game at four.
Overtime solved nothing, and a shootout was needed. Alex Forsberg shot first for Prince George, but was denied, and Troy Bourke also came up empty in the shootout while Kevin Sundher and Robin Soudek converted for the Royals.
Prince George’s record falls to 1-0-0-1 while Victoria improves to 2-1.
These two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7:00 from CN Centre.
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