Friday, February 24, 2012

Cougars Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Victoria.

Friday night in Prince George, the Prince George Cougars dropped a 4-2 score to the Victoria Royals. Victoria scored two unanswered goals in the second period to give them a 3-1 cushion that they ultimately would not surrender.

The Cougars and Royals were tied at one, after one period. Hayden Rintoul opened the scoring for Victoria on a power play at 6:12 of the first. He took the puck from his own end of the ice all the way around the Cougars goal, and was able to back-hand a shot past Drew Owsley for his 15th goal of the season.

Greg Fraser tied the game at 14:23 of the first when he flipped a shot upstairs on Jared Rathjen for his 15th goal of the season. For Fraser it was his seventh point in seven games this season against the Victoria Royals.

Mid-way through the second period, Victoria took a 2-1 lead when Dakota Conroy snuck a shot underneath Drew Owsley from the right wing. The Royals would add to their lead when Austin Carroll found the puck in the slot area and spun around to score his seventh of the year.

Early in the third, the Cougars made it 3-2 on a gorgeous finish from Chase Witala. Witala had been buzzing all game and was finally rewarded with his fifth of the season which went up and over Jared Rathjen.

For the rest of the game, the Cougars held a majority of the pressure. Chase Witala along with linemates Jarrett Fontaine and Jordan Tkatch were creating a ton of chances but were unable to find the equalizer. Witala was named the game’s first star for his efforts.

Victoria sealed the deal in the final seconds with an empty-netter from Robin Soudek.

The Royals earn their 19th victory of the season while the Cougars fall to 19-39-0-2 this season. The Cougars now trail the Royals by four points in the Western Conference standings, and will look to draw back within two tomorrow night when these teams meet again.

Prince George outshot Victoria 28-26, but finished zero-for-three on the power play while the Royals finished one-for-two.

These teams meet again on Saturday night at CN Centre.

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