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Cougars sweep Victoria again

Last season the Prince George Cougars won all four games in Victoria, with a pair of doubleheader sweeps over the Royals.

On the second weekend of the 2023-24 WHL season, the Cougars won their first road games, winning a pair in the provincial capital.

On Friday, it was an 11-2 pounding but on Saturday it was more a competitive game with (3-1) P.G. outscoring (0-4) Victoria 5-3 before 3,325 fans which was about 1,100 fewer than the first game.

In the last six meetings in Victoria going back to 2022-23, the Cougars have outscored the Royals by a total of 44-14 (with scores of 9-1, 5-2, 8-3, 6-3, 11-2 and 5-3).

On the last day of September, the Royals jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period before Riley Heidt scored a pair of power-play goals, both assisted by Ondrej Becher to tie the game 2-2 after two.

Super rookie Terik Parascak notched his league-leading 8th goal of the season just 62 seconds into the third before Carlin Dezainde got the last two markers for Prince George, a shorthanded winner midway thru the period and one into an empty net after Victoria cut the lead to 4-3.

It was just the second game of the season for Heidt after being returned from the Minnesota Wild of the NHL.

Parascak leads the WHL in scoring with 12 points followed by Becher with 11.

Cougars associate coach Jim Playfair could not hold back his enthusiasm for the 17-year-old Parascak from Lethbridge on the 94.3 the Goat post-game show.

“He is a great young prospect for the Cougars and eventually for the NHL.”

Of the eight goals Parascak has scored in four games, two have been on the power-play and another two shorthanded.

The Cougars have five players in the top 10 of WHL scoring thru the end of September with Zac Funk third with 10 points, Captain Hudson Thornton seventh with eight, and both Heidt and defenceman Viliam Kmec in a logjam for 8th with seven points.

Prince George outshot Victoria 32-28, including 18-2 in the second period.

Ty Young picked up the victory in net for the second straight night.

“We were lacking emotion (to start the game). We regrouped. In order to be a good team, you have to win different ways,” said Playfair.

The Cougars won the special teams battle going 2-for-4 on the PP with a shorthanded goal while the Royals were 0-for-2 with the man advantage.

On the season, P.G. is 9-for-21 on the PP and 15 for 17 on the PK with a whopping four shorthanded goals.

Prince George gears up to play four home games in five nights starting Tuesday against the (1-0-1) Kelowna Rockets, the first of a doubleheader against the Rockets.

Koehn Ziemmer will be back in the Cats lineup after missing the first four while at the LA Kings camp.

The PG Cougars regular-season schedule is here.

The WHL standings are here.

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