The Cougars are getting hot at the right time. Since February, the Cats have posted one of the best records in the WHL at 13-3-1-0.
That includes an 8-3 win over the Victoria Royals last night in Victoria, which officially eliminated the Royals from playoff contention.
The Cougars were flying right from the moment the puck touched the ice and controlled play early despite allowing the game’s first goal.
Hitting three posts before finally scoring, the Cats exploded for three goals in under five minutes between 8:28 and 13:02 from Funk, Ziemmer and Becher.
Two goals in 46 seconds, seems good 🤔 https://t.co/hRsTNGveZu pic.twitter.com/SJQIMOM4Ai
— x – Prince George Cougars (@PGCougars) March 11, 2023
This resulted in an early night for Royals’ starting goaltender Braden Holt.
Victoria’s Riley Gannon would score soon after to bring the game back within one, 3-2 heading into the second period.
Glover, Funk and Wheatcroft would put the game out of reach in the second period, doubling up the Royals 6-3 after two.
The third period was quiet until the very end, Royals coach Dan Price opted to pull the goalie, looking for a miracle comeback to keep their playoff window from closing for another day.
Ondrej Becher slammed that window shut with an empty net goal, and Cayden Glover netted his second of the game with under a minute left for good measure.
Prince George outshot Victoria 30-28, neither team scored on the powerplay – PG was 0/2, the Royals were 0/3.
Zac Funk lead the way offensively with two goals and an assist. 13 Cougars had points.
The win improved the Cougars record to 32-24-5-0, 69 points on the season.
Victoria falls to 15-40-6-1.
The teams rematch tonight, then twice more in Prince George next week.
Looking to the standings, it was a great night to be a Cougars fan.
Both Everett and Tri-City – the two teams chasing the Cougars for fourth place in the western conference – were tied 3-3 late in their games.
They both ended up losing 6-3, Everett to Kamloops, Tri-City to Seattle.
The Cougars’ win moves them six points ahead of both the Silvertips and Americans with seven games remaining in the season.
Nine is the magic number for the Cougars – nine more points will guarantee them fourth place even if one of the American teams win out the rest of their season.
They both have much tougher opponents than Prince George once again tonight, Everett faces off against first-place Seattle, Tri-City hosts third-place Portland.
Click here for the game’s boxscore.