Walker first star as Royals route Cougars, split two-game series

Walker scores first two goals, including game winner as Royals beat Cougars 5-1 Wednesday night

In a much needed effort, Ben Walker was there.

The redheaded rookie scored the first and second goals of the night for the Victoria Royals, earning first star honours as the home team overcame a 1-0 deficit to win 5-1 over the Prince George Cougars at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Wednesday.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the American rookie has been coming of age lately.

Walker tied the game halfway through the first period when he shoveled the rebound from Jordan Fransoo’s point shot under Cougars goalie Drew Owsley.

Early in the second period, Walker buried his second goal from in front of the net, taking a Robin Soudek pass through traffic, to make it 2-1.

Still in the middle period, Dakota Conroy (6 goals) and Jamie Crooks (27) scored 52 seconds apart on power plays. The fifth goal came 80 seconds into the third when Steven Hodges tipped a Zach Habscheid point shot.

Brandon Magee climbed to a career best 38 points with three assists.

The Royals and Cougars split the two-game set, as the Cougars won 4-2 on Tuesday night. Crooks and Brandon Magee scored in the loss.

This weekend the Royals are in Spokane on Friday and Tri-City on Saturday.

The Royals return for a two-game set versus the Everett Silvertips on Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Memorial Centre.