Prince George Cougars – Eight Straight Victories
The Prince George Cougars unbeaten streak reached eight straight games to start the 2016-17 season after a nail-biter Saturday at CN Centre in front of 3300-plus. Twice the Cougars trailed and twice the Cougars managed to claw their way back in a 5-4 regulation victory over the Vancouver Giants. Brad Morrison scored the game tying and game winning goals and Kody McDonald chipped in with a goal and two assists pacing the Cougars to their second longest winning streak in the history of their franchise.
For whatever reason, the Cougars and Giants have a habit of playing in high-scoring, back-and-forth type of games and Saturday was no different as the teams combined for seven goals in the opening period.
Bartek Bison and Kody McDonald quickly struck for the Cougars to make it 2-0, but the Giants responded with three goals in a 50 second span to give themselves a 3-2 lead. Radovan Bondra, Ty Ronning and Jack Flaman were the Vancouver goal scorers.
At the 12 minute mark of the first the Cougars tied the score when Jesse Gabrielle wired home his third goal of the weekend from the slot on a power play and temporarily things seemed like they had calmed down.
Then in the late stages of the first, the Giants restored their lead at 18:51 when Johnny Wesley streaked down the right wing, cut in front of the Cougars goal and snuck a low shot past the right pad of Nick McBride to give the visitors the 4-3 lead. It marked the first all all season that the Cougars had trailed after the first period.
The game’s next goal came at exactly 18:51 of the second period when Brad Morrison whacked home a pass from Jansen Harkins past the right pad of David Tendeck and in to tie the score. Morrison’s third of the season proved to be an important one as it sent the Cougars into the final period tied at four as opposed to trailing.
Morrison then completed the comeback for the Cougars at 7:26 of the final period with a power play goal that came off a brilliant pass from Jesse Gabrielle into the slot.
From there, Nick McBride held his ground and turned aside a flurry of late chances from the Vancouver Giants. To his credit, McBride stopped everything fired his way from the second period on and is now 3-0 on the season. At the other end, David Tendeck surrendered five goals against on 24 shots faced.
Special teams once again favored the Cougars who went two-for-four on the power play and killed off both of their minor penalties.
The 8-0 Cougars will continue their home stand on Tuesday night when they host Kevin Constantine and the Everett Silvertips in the first of back-to-back games.