Royals visit Cougars for two game weekend set

Victoria will play Prince George on back-to-back nights at the CN Centre this weekend

The Victoria Royals will remain on the road this weekend as they travel north for a pair of contests against the Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre on Friday and Saturday night.

The Cougars have been familiar foes for the Royals of late, with this weekend’s games marking their fourth and fifth meetings between the clubs over the past month. Prince George has won all seven contests against Victoria this season, including both legs of a two game series on the Island last weekend.

Forward Brayden Schuurman is one player who should make a positive impact for the Royals as they look to turn their fortunes against PG.

The 19-year-old forward has reached the scoresheet in each of his three appearances against the Cougars this season and comes into the weekend with five points (two goals, three assists) over his last seven games.

Schuurman has totalled 24 points on 13 goals and 11 assists in 35 games this year.

Braden Holt is expected to get the starting nod in net this weekend, however with games on back-to-back nights, we could also see backup Nicholas Cristiano make an appearance, as well as 16-year-old call-up Jayden Kraus, who joined the team earlier this week.

Holt has made the majority of starts for Victoria this year, amassing a 8-11-3-0 record with two shutouts, a 4.50 goals against average (GAA) and a .874 save percentage over 24 games.

Cristiano, meanwhile, has appeared in more games (25) than Holt for the Royals, however has made less starts. The Langley, BC product has earned a 4-14-0-0 record with a 4.51 GAA and a .850 SV% during his time with Victoria.

Kraus has made two career appearances for the Royals over the past two seasons, his most recent game coming back in November 2022, where he made 17 saves on 21 shots in a loss to Prince George.

On the other side, Cougars forward Chase Wheatcroft is one player the Royals will have to limit if they are to find success this weekend.

The 20-year old has been a thorn in the side of Victoria’s defence all year, recording 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in seven games against the Royals.

Wheatcroft currently sits second-overall in league scoring with 101 total points on 46 goals and 55 assists over 64 games this year.The Cougars talent is also apparent on the back-end as the team boasts a solid goaltending duo 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 18-10-3-0 record with a 2.95 GAA and a .893 SV% in 35 games, while the 2004-born Young has posted a 14-13-3-0 record, a 3.89 GAA and a .889 SV% in 32 appearances.

The first game of the weekend is set to begin at 7 pm on Friday, Mar. 17 at the CN Centre in Prince George, BC, with game two beginning at 6 pm the following night, Saturday, Mar. 18, at the same location.

Players to watch:


#29 Teague Patton (F) – 64 GP, 43 PTS (13 G, 30 A)

#28 Riley Gannon (F) – 64 GP, 36 PTS (17 G 19 A)

#20 Alex Thacker (F) – 52 GP, 36 PTS (8 G, 28 A)

Prince George:

#27 Riley Heidt (F) – 64 GP, 88 PTS (22 G, 66 A)

#13 Koehn Ziemmer (F) – 64 GP, 83 PTS (37 G, 46 A)

#4 Ethan Samson (D) – 56 GP, 59 PTS (18 G, 41 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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