Royals Fall to Division Rival Cougars

February 4, 2023 - Western Hockey League (WHL) - Victoria Royals News Release

Victoria Royals' Alex Thacker on game night
Victoria Royals' Alex Thacker on game night
(Victoria Royals)

Prince George, BC - Victoria Royals forward Marcus Almquist collected his 10th goal of the year in a 8-1 loss to the Prince George Cougars at the CN Centre on Friday night.

It would remain a close contest for the first half of the game, however, the Royals would get into some penalty trouble throughout the final period-and-a-half, allowing the Cougars to grab control of the game and earn the victory.

Victoria starting goaltender Braden Holt made 30 saves on 37 shots, while backup Nicholas Cristiano made two saves on three shots after entering the game late in the third period.

On the other side, defenceman Hudson Thornton led the way for the Cougars with three points on a goal and two assists, while goaltender Tyler Brennan stopped 24 of 25 in the win.

Prince George (20-21-4-0) would score the only goal in the opening frame, with forward Caden Brown (11) tipping-in a point shot at the 10:40 mark to give his team an early 1-0 lead.

The Cougars' lead would then increase to 2-0 at the start of the second on a goal by forward Riley Heidt (20) at 0:27.

However, Victoria (14-30-4-1) would get one back on a short-handed marker by forward Marcus Almquist (10) at the 5:52 mark, with forward Alex Thacker on the assist.

But Prince George would respond less than a minute later with a goal by defenseman Viliam Kmec (5) at 6:14 of the second to bring the score to 3-1 in favour of the Cougars.

The Cougars would then add a third in the frame on a goal by forward Chase Wheatcroft (29) at the 18:41 mark to increase their lead to 4-1 headed into the third.

A powerplay goal by forward Zac Funk (16) at 1:32 of the third would see Prince George further their lead to 5-1, which would be followed by yet another powerplay marker by Cougars defenceman Hudson Thornton (12) at the 7:44 mark to put them up 6-1.

Prince George would add two more before the end of regulation, with Caden Brown (12) striking at the 8:31 mark to bring the score to 7-1, and forward Koehn Ziemmer (27) scoring at 14:19 of the period to put the Cougars up 8-1, where it would remain at the final buzzer.

The Royals and Cougars will wrap-up their two-game set tomorrow night, with puck-drop set for 6 pm at the CN Centre in Prince George, BC.

Follow the Royals on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, TikTok and visit to find out more about ticket sales and to learn the latest news about the team.

Get Your Ticket Packs Now

Multiple ticket packages are available for purchase, including a Family Pack, Group Pack, VictoriaNow Family Section, Vizzy Section and Molson Ice Seats. Call our ticket office at 250-220-7889, send an email to or visit our website to learn more

Images from this story

Victoria Royals' Alex Thacker on game night
Victoria Royals' Alex Thacker on game night


• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...

Western Hockey League Stories from February 4, 2023

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central