PRINCE GEORGE 0
It’s a statistic that Victoria Royals head coach Dave Lowry, quite frankly, was sick of hearing.
Entering Wednesday night’s game, Lowry’s Western Hockey League club was 2-10-1-0 in the second half of back-to-back scenarios this 2016-17 season —a baffling number that the bench boss was having trouble wrapping his head around these past few months.
That, however, changed as the locals managed to stave off the Prince George Cougars 3-0 for a second straight victory in front of 5,833 fans at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.
They were two key wins against the former No. 1 team in the WHL and the No. 6-ranked CHL club in the country, a standing that will surely change after the two results.
An even more intriguing statistic is the Royals are now 17-1-2-0 when scoring first in a game.
“I thought it was a playoff atmosphere and a playoff-type game and for us that came at a real good time,” Lowry said of the performance.
“We’ll keep trying to get that first goal, I guess, but I really liked the way our guys prepared and the way they started the game.”
Jack Walker got the Royals going in this one, burying a shot up high on starting netminder Nick McBride’s glove side at 8:42 of the first period.
For the second straight night, Royals goaltender Griffen Outhouse was a wall, this time stopping 40 shots after turning aside 42 the previous night in the 5-1 victory.
Vladimir Bobylev made it 2-0 on a deflection of Regan Nagy’s shot at 10:03 of the second period as he collected his first goal since rejoining the Royals from Russia.
Victoria then had a great chance to go up 3-0 on a two-man advantage for 1:29 late in the second, but couldn’t beat McBride and were forced to settle for a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes, being out-shot 29-19 to that point.
Chaz Reddekopp made it 3-0 at 4:19 of the third period as he buried a shot up high on McBride. Reddekopp scored in both games, extending his point streak to nine games in which he has scored four times and added eight assists.
Matthew Phillips, meanwhile, had his 10-game point-scoring streak snapped as the Cougars laid the body on the diminutive Royals’ right-winger all night.
Victoria’s penalty killing was solid for the second straight home outing in a game that featured a number of fights late in the game.
With the win, the Royals even their record against the Cougars to 3-3 on the season and are now 19-15-4-0, while Prince George slips to 26-10-2-0.
It was the last home game of 2016 for the Royals, who now play the next four games on the road, beginning in Kelowna on Friday.