“We flat out stopped playing, and you're playing a team that’s fighting for their lives and fighting for the playoffs…” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
The Cougars hold down the final playoff spot in the BC Division with a 3 point lead on the Blazers and 5 point cushion on the Giants, all with 7 games remaining.
Victoria and Prince George would meet in the first round if the playoffs started today.
“We have to start getting a little bit of desperation here, and come back to realize that if we want to win hockey games we have to play for 60…we need everybody competing and playing at the same level.” said Lowry
The Royals led 1-0 after 20, and 2-1 after 40 minutes on power play goals from Alex Forsberg (25th) and Travis Brown (18th), while Josh Connolly also tallied on the man advantage to cut the lead in half.
The Cougars then added three more in the final frame on goals by Jari Erricson, Brad Morrison and Kody McDonald.
Greg Chase (20th) struck on the power play to bring Victoria to within one, but fell short and dropped their 2nd in a row. Chase had a goal and an assist and was named 3rd star.
“I think we took these guys lightly,” said Jack Walker who had two assists, “We got away from our game early, but we get them tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll hop right back at them and hopefully redeem ourselves.”
Ty Edmonds earned 2nd star honours with 34 saves, while Justin Paulic made 33 saves in the loss as both clubs took 37 shots.
The Royals were 3 for 6 on the power play, while the Cougars went 1 for 4.
Victoria will face Prince George again on Saturday night in their final regular season meeting holding a 4-3 season series advantage.
Travis Brown now has 54 points, good for 5th among defenseman. Hicketts added an assist to his defenseman lead in points with 55. He now has points in 3 straight games (2g, 1a).
Alex Forsberg had a goal and an assist against his former club.
Erricson had a goal and an assist for Prince George and was the games first star.
- Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 3 at Prince George Cougars 4 - Status: Final
Friday, March 6, 2015 - CN Centre - Prince George, BC
Victoria 1 1 1 - 3
Prince George 0 1 3 - 4
1, Victoria, Forsberg 25 (Carroll, Walker), 2:13 (PP).
Penalties-Ruopp P.g (interference), 0:39; Babych P.g (tripping), 5:35; Gagnon Vic (boarding), 17:15; Macklin P.g (interference), 19:44; Ruopp P.g (hooking), 19:55.
2, Victoria, Brown 18 (Chase, Forsberg), 0:47 (PP).
3, Prince George, Connolly 12 (Edmonds, Pochiro), 17:59 (PP).
Penalties-Harkins P.g (slashing), 11:54; Forsberg Vic (tripping), 17:25.
4, Prince George, Erricson 22 5:08.
5, Prince George, Morrison 21 (Ruopp, Erricson), 8:35.
6, Prince George, McDonald 7 (Carvalho), 15:22.
7, Victoria, Chase 20 (Walker, Hicketts), 16:03 (PP).
Penalties-Nagy Vic (high sticking), 8:35; Brown Vic (delay of game), 9:55; Bear P.g (roughing), 15:47.
Shots on Goal-
Prince George 11-10-16-37.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 3 / 6;
Prince George 1 / 4.
Victoria, Paulic 13-14-1-1 (37 shots-33 saves).
Prince George, Edmonds 25-22-2-2 (37 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Mike Campbell (89), Fraser Lawrence (10).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Tom Henetiuk (140).