Taylor Crunk scored in the 11th round of the shoot out Saturday night to lead the visiting Victoria Royals past the Prince George Cougars 4-3, earning a split of the two game set.
‘It felt really good,” said Crunk on the shoot out winner, “I didn’t really know what I was planning on doing, I just kind of walked in, saw an opening high glove - I just ripped it and it happened to go in.”
Coleman Vollrath made 26 saves through overtime, and stopped 10 of 11 Cougars shooters to earn the win. Ty Edmonds made 31 saves in the loss.
“I liked tonight, there were a lot of things we did well,” said Head Coach Dave Lowry,
"The game shouldn’t of gone to a shoot out…I thought we generated a lot of chances, hit 3 posts in the second period and we could’ve put the game out of reach.”
The Royals snap a 2 game skid after falling 4-3 one night earlier to the Cougars, and clinch home ice in the first round of the playoffs.
Victoria led 3-0 in the middle frame after goals by Chaz Reddekopp in the first, Brandon Magee and Ryan Gagnon in the second.
Prince George got on board before the period was out, on a goal by Tyler Mrkonjic.
The Cougars added two more in the third by defenseman Tomas Andrlik and Chase Witala on the power play with 3:01 left to force overtime.
The Royals killed off two Cougar power plays in the extra inning, as Joe Hicketts blocked 4 shots in just one shift, forcing the shoot out.
“Shot blocks, paying the price, and details - the difference in the hockey game tonight.” said Lowry.
Victoria was 0 for 2 on the power play, while Prince George went 1 for 7.
Jack Walker and Zach Pochiro were the only other two skaters to score in the 11 round shoot out.
Both clubs have 6 games left, and the 2nd place Royals with 74 points, would face the 3rd place Cougars with 61 points in the first round if the playoffs started today.
Victoria earns a 5-3 season series record against P.G., who’s record falls to 3-3-1-1.
Brandon Magee had a goal and an assist for the Royals.
Cougars forward Jansen Harkins picked up a helper which tied him for the franchise’s single season assist record at 58 with Quinn Hancock.
Prince George had an announced attendance of 5,404 - about 500 shy of a sell out.
Victoria's four game BC Division road trip continues in Kelowna Wednesday and Vancouver Friday.
- Marlon Martens
Victoria Royals 4 (SO) at Prince George Cougars 3 - Status: Final SO
Saturday, March 7, 2015 - CN Centre - Prince George, BC
Victoria 1 2 0 0 - 4
Prince George 0 1 2 0 - 3
1, Victoria, Reddekopp 5 (Soy, Walker), 11:07.
Penalties-Hicketts Vic (high sticking, high sticking), 4:40; Connolly P.g (hooking), 4:40; Chase Vic (high sticking), 14:31; Bear P.g (tripping), 18:31.
2, Victoria, Magee 19 (Forsberg), 9:24.
3, Victoria, Gagnon 1 (Magee), 12:49.
4, Prince George, Mrkonjic 8 (Connolly), 17:27.
Penalties-Walker Vic (holding), 12:16; Connolly P.g (roughing), 12:16; Reddekopp Vic (tripping), 13:59.
5, Prince George, Andrlik 3 5:10.
6, Prince George, Witala 33 (Erricson, Harkins), 16:59 (PP).
Penalties-Chase Vic (hooking), 1:16; Bethune P.g (high sticking), 7:25; Fisher Vic (tripping), 15:50.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Brown Vic (high sticking), 1:21; Hannoun Vic (too many men), 3:49.
Victoria 2 (Walker G, Magee NG, Chase NG, Forsberg NG, Brown NG, Carroll NG, Ibragimov NG, Soy NG, Fushimi NG, Hannoun NG, Crunk G),
Prince George 1 (Harkins NG, Witala NG, Pochiro G, Morrison NG, Connolly NG, Mrkonjic NG, Erricson NG, McDonald NG, Olson NG, Macklin NG, Babych NG).
Shots on Goal-
Prince George 7-8-11-3-0-29.
Power Play Opportunities-
Victoria 0 / 2;
Prince George 1 / 7.
Victoria, Vollrath 25-14-3-1 (29 shots-26 saves).
Prince George, Edmonds 25-22-2-3 (34 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Mike Campbell (89), Fraser Lawrence (10).
Linesmen-Ron Dietterle (121), Brendon Creyke (131).