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October 28, 2017 12:46 am

A Tip of the Hat

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 @ 3:45 AM

Without a doubt Cougars sophomore forward Kody McDonald will never forget his 100thcareer game in the Western Hockey League. Tuesday night against the Seattle Thunderbirds McDonald grabbed his first career WHL hat-trick and the Prince George Cougars secured their 26th victory of the season, a 6-2 triumph over the Seattle Thunderbirds. Tate Olson added a goal and two assists and Ty Edmonds made 25 saves to earn his 14th victory of the season. It was the first Cougars victory at home against Seattle since September, 2012.

11 seconds into the game tone of the game was set when Cougars forward Colby McAuley dropped the gloves in a heated scrap with T-Birds forward Keegan Kolesar. After a fairly even tilt the officials removed both of the combatants from the game.

Chase Witala got the offense rolling for the Cougars at 4:06 when he skated wide on the defender and snuck a back-hand past Logan Flodell and in for his 26th of the season. Mathew Barzal responded for Seattle though at the 13:26 mark unassisted and the first period ended with a 1-1 tie and Seattle holding an 11-7 shot advantage.

38 seconds into the second period though the Cougars regained the lead. Tate Olson made a terrific play at the Seattle blueline to keep the puck in, he then shimmied past a Seattle defender, slid a pass to his right and from there Kody McDonald skated into the right circle and wired home his ninth of the season and his first of three on the night.

McDonald’s second goal of the night came at the 18:42 mark of the middle frame. Tate Olson’s shot from the slot went wide, but bounced off the back boards and to the opposite side of the net where McDonald was waiting and he knocked home the loose change to extend the Cougars lead to 3-1, which is how the second period would end.

Jansen Harkins pushed the Cougars lead to three goals when he scored on a penalty shot at 4:13 of the third. Seconds earlier Harkins was hauled down on a breakaway by T-Birds defenceman Turner Ottenbreit which created the first Cougars penalty shot attempt of the season.

30 seconds after Harkins’ 11th goal of the season, Kody McDonald cut to the middle and roofed a backhand shot over the left shoulder of Flodell and home for his first career WHL hat-trick and a 5-1 Cougars lead.

That spelled the end of Logan Flodell’s night as he was pulled after allowing five goals on 22 shots faced. In came 20-year-old Landon Bow who made all seven saves on the shots fired his way.

Jerret Smith moved his club back within three when he scored at the 9:28 mark of the third, but Tate Olson notched the game’s final tally at the 18:29 mark of the third into an empty net (while shorthanded) to complete the Cougars 6-2 victory and a three-point game for himself.

Between the pipes, Ty Edmonds was solid for the Cougars making 25 saves on 27 shots faced to lead the Cougars to their 26th victory and a share of second place in the B.C. Division. The shots were 30-27 for the Cougars who went six-for-six on the penalty kill an zero-for-three on the power play. Now the Cougars will gun for their fourth home double-header sweep tonight when they once again clash with the Seattle Thunderbirds at the CN Centre.


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