Giants Use Power Play to Down Cougars
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Cougars and the Vancouver Giants are heading into the rubber match of their three game series each with a victory in their back pocket. After winning 6-3 Wednesday in Vancouver the Cougars dropped a 4-1 decision Saturday at home to the Giants. Thomas Foster scored two power play goals in the second period and added an assist for Vancouver while their goaltender Ryan Kubic stood tall making 30 saves on 31 shots faced. Jesse Gabrielle had the Cougars lone goal early in the second period.
Mark Holick’s team skated well in the first period and outshot the Giants 14-9. Colby McAuley got the crowd into the game with a huge hit on Giants forward Trevor Cox who didn’t play another shift in the game after the collision. No penalty was called on the play. Both Ty Edmonds and Ryan Kubic were strong in net for their respective teams and the first ended without a goal for either side.
That changed 6:44 into the second period when the trio of Chase Witala, Brogan O’Brien and Jesse Gabrielle connected on Gabrielle’s 24th goal of the season. Witala out-muscled a Giants defender behind the Vancouver net, forced his way out in front and with one-hand on his stick he centered a perfect pass to Gabrielle who made no mistake from in close.
Three minutes later though the Giants would tie the game and steal momentum back in their favor thanks to their first of three consecutive power play goals. First it was Foster who pounced on a Matt Barberis rebound at the side of the Cougars goal for his first of the game and the season. 54 seconds later Ben Thomas snuck a point-shot through a crowd and home for his fourth of the season, and then late in the frame Foster added another power play goal to put the Giants ahead by a 3-1 score through 40 minutes.
Despite some strong chances early in the third from the Cougars, the Giants held their ground thanks in large part to Kubic who faced 10 Cougars shots in the final period and stopped them all. Dakota Odgers added an empty netter for Vancouver to lift them to the 4-1 victory – Their first of the season against the Cougars in four games. The final shots were 31-29 for the Cougars who went zero-for-three on the power play while the Giants finished three-for-four.
Luckily for the Cougars they don’t have to wait long for a rematch as the two teams will meet Sunday at 5:00 PM at the CN Centre. Sunday’s game already has over 5200 tickets sold!