Victoria Royals forward Anthony Wilson in action during a Western Hockey League game against the Cougars in Prince George on March 12. The Royals, 5-3 winners Friday, were denied the sweep as the Cougars rolled to a 9-1 win on the Saturday. (Photo courtesy of the Victoria Royals)

Victoria Royals forward Anthony Wilson in action during a Western Hockey League game against the Cougars in Prince George on March 12. The Royals, 5-3 winners Friday, were denied the sweep as the Cougars rolled to a 9-1 win on the Saturday. (Photo courtesy of the Victoria Royals)

9-1 loss Saturday prevents Victoria Royals from gaining ground on Prince George

Royals, Cougars to play 5 times down the stretch, fighting for final playoff spots

The Victoria Royals were handed a pummelling on Saturday by one of the teams they’re chasing in the standings, one that will be a familiar foe down the stretch.

Victoria sits three points behind Prince George, as well as Spokane, in the Western Hockey League playoff picture as the Royals prepare to take on those two clubs in seven of their remaining 11 regular-season games.

Five of those matchups will be against the Prince George Cougars, which handed the Royals a crushing 9-1 loss in the Interior city on Saturday. Victoria had temporarily made up ground in the standings with a 5-3 road win on Friday (March 11) night to open the weekend series at the CN Centre.

But that momentum unravelled the next night. Victoria’s Riley Gannon opened scoring with an unassisted goal midway through the first period, but the visitors found themselves down 3-1 going into the second. All three of those goals came off the stick of forward Koehn Ziemmer, who needed just over four minutes to record the natural hat trick.

Ziemmer added another in the second, finishing with a four-goal night and leading his team to the blowout victory.

The Royals will have to quickly forget the big loss as neither Victoria nor Prince George plays again until the two teams meet at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on March 18 and 19. Two regulation wins could see Victoria leapfrog into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

READ: Victoria Royals split games with Portland, face big weekend in Prince George


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

junior hockeyVictoria RoyalsWestern Hockey League