Cougars Win Their Fifth Straight, a 4-3 come-from-behind decision against Victoria.
The Prince George Cougars continue to find ways to win. Friday night in Prince George, the Cougars erased a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goals, and defeated the Victoria Royals by a 4-3 score. Jari Erricson had a goal and an assist for the Cougars while goaltender Ty Edmonds turned aside 34 of the 37 shots he faced to secure the fifth straight victory for the Cougars, and their seventh victory in their past eight games altogether. Alex Forsberg and Greg Chase each had two points in response for the Royals.
2:13 into the game Victoria took a quick 1-0 lead when Alex Forsberg raced down the right wing side and snuck a shot past the blocker of Ty Edmonds on a Victoria power play.
The teams traded chances for the duration of the period, but Ty Edmonds and Justin Paulic did their part keeping pucks out of their respective nets, and the Royals skated into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead. Late in the first though, the Cougars got into some penalty trouble, and the Royals had a minute and 44 seconds of five-on-three power play time to start the second.
47 seconds into the second period, Travis Brown increased Victoria’s lead to 2-0 when he ripped home a one-timer off a Greg Chase pass at the left point. Fortunately the Cougars killed off the second minor, and from there things started to settle down.
Territorially the Cougars were all over the Royals in the second, but a combination of Justin Paulic saves and a few missed nets kept Victoria up by two.
Late in the second the Cougars were rewarded with their second power play of the game, and as he’s done so often since becoming a Cougar, Josh Connolly found a way to make the opposition pay.
Connolly took the puck from his own zone, and raced down the right side of the ice all the way and snuck a low shot through Justin Paulic and in for his 12th goal of the season. It was a big goal for the Cougars who went into the second intermission trailing by only one goal as opposed to two.
5:08 into the third period the Cougars caught a break when Jari Erricson’s centering pass to Jared Bethune deflected off a Victoria Royal defenceman’s skate and through Paulic. The game was tied, and Erricson was credited with his 22nd goal of the season.
Prince George completed their comeback just over three minutes later when Brad Morrison crashed the net hard and got just enough of Jari Erricon’s centering pass and knocked it across the goal-line to give the Cougars their first (and final) lead of the game.
Kody McDonald (in his first game back from illness) doubled up the Cougars lead at the 15:22 off a great individual effort from the right wing corner. McDonald maneuvered his way to the front of the Royals goal and snuck a backhand shot past Paulic for his seventh goal of the season.
That goal would prove to be vital as the Royals struck back with a power play marker less than a minute later. Greg Chase snuck a wrist shot through a maze of bodies and over the shoulder of Ty Edmonds to inch Victoria back within one goal.
That’s as close as they’d come. The Cougars clamped down and held off the Royals late push to secure their 28th victory of the season. The Cougars are now 3-3-1-0 against the Royals through the first seven games of their regular season series.
With the victory, the Cougars record now sits at 28-33-2-2. Their victory ensured the fact that they stayed three points ahead of the pack as Kamloops was victorious in their game with Spokane, while Vancouver dropped a game at home against Kelowna.
Now with seven games remaining, the Prince George Cougars can edge even closer to a playoff spot when they welcome the Victoria Royals Saturday for the rematch.