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Victoria Royals hold steady in standings after WHL home split with Prince George

Final Western Conference playoff spots are still up for grabs
Royals’ Anthony Wilson tries to get away from Prince George players during a March 26 game against the Cougars at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre. The Royals lost this game 3-0 but beat Prince George 4-2 on Friday. (Simon Fearn/Black Press Media)

The Victoria Royals remain in a playoff spot after two games on the weekend, but the postseason spot isn’t secured just yet, as all the teams around the local club have games in hand.

Victoria saw its five-game win streak snapped Saturday with a 3-0 home loss to Prince George, one night after the Royals beat the Cougars 4-2 at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

After the weekend play the Royals sit seventh in the Western Conference, but are tied in points with the sixth-place Vancouver Giants. Vancouver and two teams chasing the Royals – Prince George and the Spokane Chiefs – have played two to three fewer games than Victoria.

Following six games in eight days, head coach Dan Price noted his players were tired, but said that wasn’t an excuse for losing a game where his team put in a good effort.

“Execution wasn’t quite there, you could see the fatigue at times – little passes we usually make, or shots we’d usually get off just weren’t quite there,” he said postgame on Saturday.

The penalty-filled game saw the Cougars score shorthanded and power play goals in the first period. Prince George added one more early in the second and goaltender Tyler Brennan stopped all 24 shots he faced to keep the Royals off the score sheet.

On Friday, Victoria forward Tanner Scott continued his strong play with two assists, giving him 10 points in the five-game stretch.

The 17-year-old said postgame that he’s feeling good playing alongside Brayden Schuurman and Marcus Almquist.

“I love playing with both of them and we’re finding some chemistry, which is nice,” Scott said.

The Royals were up 1-0 to start the third, but three goals in the first three minutes quickly made it a 3-1 game. Prince George pulled within one with a power play goal with just over a minute remaining, but the Royals held on and added an empty-netter.

Victoria’s next game is in Kelowna on Saturday (April 2).

READ: Victoria Royals improve WHL playoff chances with pair of wins over Kelowna

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