Victoria Royals cap preseason with loss to Cougars

The Victoria Royals finished winless in the Western Hockey League preseason at 0-3 ­following an 8-5 loss to the Prince George Cougars on ­Saturday night at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

It was the first WHL game in the Memorial Centre since March of 2020.

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Carter MacAdams led the Cougars, who finished the ­exhibition season 2-2, with three goals.

Ty Yoder, Carter Dereniwsky, Trent Crane, Anthony Wilson and Brayden Schuurman, with his third goal of the preseason, replied for the Royals. Schuurman, Yoder and Dereniwsky also added assists on two-point nights.

Prince George got off to a quick start and led 3-1 after the first period and 4-1 early in the second before the middle frame ended 5-3.

Prince George went 1-2 on the power play and Victoria 2-5.

Tyler Palmer made 21 saves in goal for the Royals and Tyler Brennan 21 for the Cougars.

The Royals opened the ­preseason with 7-3 and 4-1 losses last weekend in Kelowna against the Rockets.

The Royals have 27 ­players on the roster, with three of them in NHL training camps and ­unavailable Saturday, and will carry a roster of 23 or 24 players for the regular season which opens next Saturday at the Memorial Centre against the Vancouver Giants.

Because of the closed Canada-U.S. border to all but essential travel, the regular season will open with B.C. Division teams only playing games against each other. Games against U.S. Division teams are scheduled to begin in November, pending the border situation.

There will no regular-season games in 2021-22 for B.C. and U.S. division teams, which comprise the Western Conference, against clubs in the Eastern Conference.

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