Royals host division rival Cougars for two game set

Victoria will hold their annual Canadian Armed Forces Military Appreciation Night this Saturday

The Victoria Royals will remain at home this weekend as they host the Prince George Cougars for a two-game set beginning Friday night.

It will be the first time since mid-October that the Royals have battled a BC Division opponent, and they are excited to resume the rivalry with the Cougars:

“The BC Division rivalries are always such fun games to play in,” said Royals Head Coach Dan Price after practice Wednesday. “They’re physical, there’s usually some animosity there, especially in the back-to-back games.”

Price continued:

“Prince George plays that way too, fast and physical, just like we are. So we’re looking forward to it for sure, it will have a lot of that snarl and grit to it that we’re accustomed to seeing with BC Division games.”

Victoria (3-14-3-0) is coming off two hard-fought defeats at the hands of the conference-leading Portland Winterhawks last weekend and will have another tough test against the division-leading Cougars this weekend.

The offensive pairing of Jake Poole and Teague Patton have been a bright spot for the team over the past few weeks and rank first and second, respectively, in total points for the team this season.

Poole has been particularly effective of late, recording six goals and seven total points in his last six contests to bring his scoring total to 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 18 games this season.

Meanwhile, the Kelowna, BC-born Patton has also been valuable for Victoria over the past month – recording five goals and nine assists for 14 points on the year – and is coming off a two-point performance in the team’s loss last Saturday.

Standing in Victoria’s way this weekend is a  Prince George (10-9-0-0) squad that has gotten off to an impressive start this season, currently leading the BC Division by two points over second-place Kamloops.

Forwards Koehen Ziemmer and Riley Heidt – both expected to be first round picks at the 2023 NHL Draft – provide a two-headed offensive monster up front for the Cougars.

Ziemmer has been the more active of the two in terms of production this season, ranking second in the league with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 19 games this season, 21 of which have come during his ongoing 11 game point streak that dates back to late-October.

Heidt, meanwhile, also ranks among the top scorers in the league, recording 29 points on 10 goals and 19 assists through 19 games in 2022.

The Royals will need to do their best to keep the high-flying pair in check in order to pick up some points this weekend.

The Cougars talent is also apparent on the back-end as the team boasts one of the best goaltending duos in the league in the pairing of Tyler Brennan and Ty Young.

The 2003-born Brennan has made the majority of starts for Prince George this season, earning a 4-5-0-0 record with a 3.49 GAA and a .883 SV% in 10 games, while the 2004-born Young has posted a 5-3-0-0 record, a 3.80 GAA and a .905 SV% in nine appearances.

Both netminders were selected in the 2022 NHL draft, with Brennan being a fourth round pick (102nd overall) of the New Jersey Devils and Young being selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the fifth round (144th overall).

The first game of the weekend is scheduled for 7:05 pm on Friday, Nov. 18, with game two set for 6:05 pm the following night, Saturday, Nov. 19 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in downtown Victoria.

The Royals will be hosting multiple exciting promotions at the SOFMC this weekend, with Friday’s game seeing the team celebrating ‘80’s Night’ presented by Trail Appliances, featuring a karaoke contest with a Traeger as a grand prize, live music and a dance team, food and drink specials and more.

Meanwhile,  Saturday’s game will acknowledge the hard working members of our military through ‘Canadian Armed Forces Military Appreciation Night’ presented by Babcock Canada, which will see the team dawn one-of-a-kind uniforms inspired by the 1942-1943 CFB Esquimalt navy hockey team. The game will also feature army vehicles on site and CFB Esquimalt vendors.

Discounts for military members will be made available, including 25% off buffet prices all month at the Lion’s Den Restaurant when booked online with a valid military ID.

Impact players to watch:


#8 Kalem Parker (D) – 20 GP, 12 PTS (1 G, 11 A)

#28 Riley Gannon (F) – 20 GP, 12 PTS (5 G, 7 A)

#11 Matthew Hodson (F) – 17 GP, 9 PTS (6 G, 3 A)

Prince George:

#12 Hudson Thornton (D) – 19 GP, 23 PTS (4 G, 19 A)

#4 Ethan Samson (D) – 19 GP, 15 PTS (6 G, 9 A)

#29 Chase Wheatcroft (F) – 19 GP, 23 PTS (14 G, 10 A)

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About the Victoria Royals

The Victoria Royals are a Canadian major junior ice hockey team in the Western Hockey League (WHL) owned and operated by GSL Group. The Royals play all their home games at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre and have entered their 12th season of their existence.

About Save-On Foods Memorial Centre

Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (SOFMC) is designed, constructed, developed and operated by GSL Group. SOFMC is Victoria’s premier entertainment facility and the largest arena in British Columbia outside Vancouver. The state-of-the-art 7,000 seat facility is home to the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League and regularly hosts large-scale concerts and other special events such as figure skating, curling, plays, trade shows and conferences. SOFMC also features a fine dining Lion’s Den Restaurant, as well as retail and meeting space.

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