Morrison Hat Trick Leads Cougars Over Giants
Prince George, B.C. – Cougars forward Brad Morrison became the third Cougar this season to record a hat-trick in Vancouver. Saturday night at the Pacific Coliseum the Cougars erased two separate deficits in a 6-4 road victory against the Vancouver Giants.
Morrison led the charge witjh three goals for the Cougars while four other Cougars recorded multi-point games. Between the pipes Ty Edmonds made 23 saves on 27 shots faced to earn his 15th win of the season and the 27th victory of the season overall for the Cougars. Trevor Cox had a goal and two assists in response for the Giants while Thomas Foster chipped in with a pair of goals.
After the opening period the Cougars held a 2-1 lead. The first goal of the game came just over four minutes in when Cougars forward Jesse Gabrielle knocked home a Chase Witala pass off a two-on-one rush for his team leading 28th of the season.
Trevor Cox quickly countered for Vancouver with his eighth of the season at 7:39, but Morrison countered for the Cougars with his first of the night at 13:01 to move the Cougars ahead.
The second period was a different story altogether as the Giants struck twice in the first 45 seconds to take a 3-2 lead. Thomas Foster knocked home his own rebound on a power play just 15 seconds into the frame, and then Ty Ronning put Vancouver ahead just 30 seconds later off a shot from the left wing.
Chase Witala erased Vancouver’s lead with a power play marker of his own just a minute and 11 seconds after Ronning’s goal, but Vancouver answered right back with another go-ahead goal, this one came courtesy of Foster who one-timed home a Ty Ronning pass on a power play.
The second period ended without any further offense and the Cougars went into the final period down 4-3 while being outshot by a slim 23-21 margin.
Period three belonged to the Cougars who outshot Vancouver 18-4. Just 2:26 into the final period Kody McDonald raced down the right wing and wired a shot high and over the shoulder of Giants goaltender Ryan Kubic for his 12th of the season and fourth of the week. Brad Morrison then grabbed the Cougars their third (and final) lead of the night in the late stages of a power play when he took a Kody McDonald pass, maneuvered into the slot and blasted a shot past Kubic.
Then with 14 seconds remaining and Vancouver’s net empty, Morrison iced the game for the Cougars with his third of the contest and 17th of the season. It was Morrison’s first career WHL hat-trick and he was named the game’s first star. Chase Witala, Jesse Gabrielle, Kody McDonald and Joe Carvalho also recorded multi-point games for the Cougars who improved their record to 27-16-1-1 and their road record to 12-8-1-0 with the win. It was the Cougars fourth victory of the season against Vancouver, all of which have come at the Pacific Coliseum. The Cougars are also now 10-2 in their last 12 games on the road.
The power play was brilliant finishing three-for-five while the penalty kill went two-for-eight.
Next up for the Cougars: A road matchup with the Kelowna Rockets Tuesday night at Prospera Place.