The Victoria Royals heaped even more woe on Prince George’s benighted Western Hockey League season.
The Royals defeated the Cougars 4-1 on Friday night in CN Centre to push Prince George’s winless streak to 14 consecutive games.
The Cougars fired head coach Richard Matvichuk on Feb. 6 after 11 consecutive losses. Nothing that GM and interim head coach Mark Lamb has done the last three games seems to be helping, either, as the Cougars fell to 16-33-6.
The Royals, second in the B.C. Division at 28-23-3, however had to guard against complacency. They did just that and came out with jump, following a flat 6-1 loss Wednesday in Kamloops.
Victoria took a 2-0 lead via an unlikely source. Energy forward Tanner Sidaway, whose value to the team lies in areas other than scoring, tallied at 3:50 of the first period and then short-handed just seven seconds into the second period.
Josh Curtis pulled Prince George to within one on a breakaway at 6:22 of the second before Kaid Oliver’s 24th goal of the season restored Victoria’s cushion at 16:32. Logan Doust scored unassisted in the third period on a glaring Prince George giveaway to close out scoring. Danish junior international Phillip Schultz, making an impact of late, continued doing so with two assists for Victoria.
Victoria’s graduating 20-year-old goaltender Griffen Outhouse, raised in northern B.C., is making his final weekend appearance in the rink in which he played many games growing up. Outhouse turned in a fine 32-save performance to be named the game’s first star.
Rising crease prodigy Taylor Gauthier, gold-medallist U-18 goaltender for Canada, made only 17 saves for Prince George.
The Royals and Cougars meet again tonight in Prince George.
And then the Royals board the bus for the trek south to get ready for back-to-back home games against the Kelowna Rockets.
Kelowna is in town for a special Family Day contest at 2 p.m. on Monday, and then the two teams will square off on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.